Brief story about the image

As you read through some of the stories of how I produce my images (they can be evolving for years before they are complete) Primordial and Empty Rhetoric are interesting images, if for no other reason, than because I did them so quickly. As I recall it now (it was back in 1985) I had been to some sort of party, or maybe I was just "down the pub" I don't really remember the details any more. What I do remember is, coming in and feeling completely wasted from a somewhat stressful evening's socializing, which consisted of banal conversation and posturing. I went straight into my workroom where I started melting some glass. These creations just seemed to evolve in front of me and were the very first free-standing "sculptural" pieces I had made. It was weird that I put mouths on two of them and male genitalia on the other: again all I was doing at this point was just seeing how well I could mould the glass into recognisable shapes. I couldn't go to bed now, I had to work on. I wanted to see how they would look illuminated, probably because I hadn't had a good image-buzz since I saw The Aspirations of Youth through the lens for the first time a year earlier. As I had just moved flats and now had extra workspace - a cellar which I kept ready set up for shooting my images - I was able to quickly set up my new creations.

I don't know why at the time, but no matter how much colour I introduced into the lighting, I just wasn't getting a good image, (don't forget I had spent 2 years on the 4 Seasons to perfect my technique). Then as sometimes happens, something fortuitous occured. The gelatines were overheating on my crude lighting set-up and I could see they were curling up, when suddenly they fell off the lamps. Hey presto, the first of the sculptures I was struggling with was perfectly lit in what was virtually black and white lighting.

I went to bed at that point, realising I was wasting my time until I had some black and white film. The next morning I shot my first black and white work, and by the end of the day had the first proofs printed. Before I had even tinted in the lips of the first I had decided on titles for them both.

By titling them Primordial and Empty Rhetoric - I realised only weeks later - how strangely they reflected the elements of my evening previous to creating them. Of all the other images I have ever produced to date, none have evolved in this way.


Availability of this image

Primordial is available signed/unframed in three sizes of hand-printed/hand-tinted black and white photographic print. It is individually mounted (matted) in either black or white. The mount is a quality artcard but flexible enough to be rolled for despatch. You will be able to put the work straight into a frame of the same size, or should you wish to, put a thicker conventional mount around the image area.The first dimensions are the photograph followed by the overall dimensions of the mount.


Photo-size 1 ....250mm x 200mm (10" x 8") into 500mm x 400mm (20" x16" approx).

Photo-size 2.....400mm x 300mm (16" x 12") into 600mm x 500mm (24" x 20" approx).

Photo-size 3.....500mm x 400mm (20" x 16") into 800mm x 600mm (31.5" x 23.5" approx).

Photo-size 4 ....You can specify a bespoke size of print or style of mount.

Prices on application - dependent on size, specification and presentation.


For those interested in photography

  1. The work was shot on my trusty old "Kodak of London" (circa 1920's) SPECIALIST 3 MODEL, using 5" x 4" format.
  2. The lens used was an old "Wray" f203mm.
  3. The film was Kodak Plus-X Pan Professional film 4147
  4. Aperture set at f45, exposure time 100secs.
  5. The finished photographic prints are hand printed black and white.