Lip Service


Brief story about the image

Some time later the same year of 1985, after producing Empty Rhetoric and Primordial, I spent hours, weeks and months playing with the molten glass producing a lot of shapes in the form of various parts of the anatomy. None I found for me, were more representational of "the human condition" than the mouth, or should I say more precisely - the lips*. One day I simply welded a number of them onto a "tree" type structure one by one in a totally random order, then attached it to a lump of thick slate which I had recently picked up on one of my head-clearing walkabout trips to Wales (I digress). Anyway, I was building it up purely for the quite bizarre look of the thing and had no idea when or how I would stop. Then I suddenly had the idea to drag off a new shoot or umbilical, away from the main structure.

The work was then left untouched for a while, although I kept thinking about it and how I would do more to it. But, on seeing it a few weeks later, totally afresh, I decided it was finished and I would photograph it - by now of course in black and white. What you see is the result - pure and simple.

However, the titling of this piece came about in almost the complete opposite way to how it was with Empty Rhetoric and Primordial. It wasn't until about 18 months after I had finished working on it - when I just happened to be having a little trouble with the tax-man - that Lip Service was truly completed.

Now all these years later, I can look at this image and still see myself in that little offshoot. The thing I now realise is, that it applies to so many aspects of my life which I had never even seen before. Sometimes I just look at myself doing something quite normal and think - why am I doing this, or in this way? In the end I usually arrive at my same conclusion, that all convention is in the end, a form of lip service to something.

That of course does not mean it is a bad thing!

* By that I mean in a purely asexual way - regardless of the conotations of lips - instead seeing them as both physically and spiritually androgynous.

Availability of image

Lip Service 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 110secs.
  5. The finished photographic prints are hand printed b/w and tinted with "Photocolor" photo dyes.