Tim: 37.5 x 33.5 x 17 cm / Sue: 37.5 x 34 x 17 cm / Both: 37.5 x 34 x 34 cm (Shipping crates: 58 x 48 x 34 cm each)
Diptych, painted bronze
Signed by engraving underneath both sections 'AP 2006'
In 2004 Tim and I embarked on a series of metal sculptures where we welded abstract scraps of metal together in order to make recognisable shadow portraits of ourselves. In one of the works A-Hole (2005), the shadow for the first time caught both of our profiles merged together. It reminded me of something I'd already seen - although we had arrived at it through our own journey of studio trial and error. Mussolini’s Head is a 360 degree continuous portrait of the Italian dictator’s distinctive profile which he commissioned at the height of his reign in 1933 - so that his features became recognisable from all angles wherever you stood in the room. The finished profile represented movement and speed, a concept adopted by the Italian art movement of the early 20th century Futurism, who's main concerns were with concepts of the future including technology, industrial design and all things fast and sexy and new.
This induced Tim and I to make our own versions of the 360 degree ‘spinning’ profile technique using our own facial features, that were first spun in wet clay and then cast in bronze and lacquered using car paint to an immaculate finish that looked shiny and wet …and fast, sexy and new. In keeping with the British vernacular within our work one was sprayed London Taxi Cab Black, the other was sprayed British Ambulance White so when Untitled (Spinning Heads) (2005) are shown together the white object can only become visible when eclipsing the black other.
Not entirely satisfied, we then decided to reverse the Spinning Heads profiles, into what can only be described as looking like a pair of candle sticks. In Spinning Heads in Reverse (2006), the profiles although continuous, are in reverse but only become visible in the 'negative' space, we then realised that when they were shown close together, a third image appeared as if by magic in the centre - the negative image of both of our profiles bringing it back to the starting point of the black shadow created within the original sculpture A-Hole. Wanting to take it one step further, we then sliced both 'reversed' sculptures in half and painfully joined them together in order to make Double Negative (2009), two profiles facing each other from negative space. Finally realising our own original idea, Double Negative is cast in bronze and sprayed Pillar Box Red.
Having pushed the imagery as far as possible in reverse, we then went back to the original fat and shiny 360 degree Spinning Head profiles and sliced them both in half, cast them in bronze and lacquered one in soft pink the other in baby blue that became the prototype for a pair of Split Heads (2007) that can sit on a single pedestal as uncomfortably close together or as far apart as absolutely possible… but will always be unbearably inseparable til death do us part…. (Sue Webster)