Last Cigarette – a surreal found object sculpture.

Surrealist dada contemporary sculpture involvinng pareidolia - cigarette and shoe last

Last Cigarette. Found object sculpture.

Shoe last, cigarette, lamp base. May 2018

A surreal or dada found object sculpture made from a cobbler’s shoe last with a cigarette inserted into the circular hole in the last that is designed to accommodate a handle. The last is mounted on a lamp stand.

The sculpture utilises the human sensory condition known as pareidolia, the interpretation of shapes as human faces, to create a surreal head. Pareidolia is essential for the interpretation of a lot of art, especially art in which faces are merely suggested by, say, a few strokes of a paintbrush. In some art pareidolia is actually a curse though – think of the number of abstract images that are ruined when you see an unintentional face in them.
The sculpture’s title, Last Cigarette, utilises the human tendency to reinterpret words to create puns – in this case the word ‘last’ referring to the wooden cobbler’s last, meaning that the cigarette is the last’s last cigarette.

Metamorphosis of a Human Hand into an Alien Life-form


Video. March 2018

This video shows the way in which familiar objects can become disconcertedly unfamiliar and alien by removing them from their normal context.

It shows a video of a hand in which the video is split and flipped as a mirror image in order to create a strikingly bizarre image resembling an unsettling and disturbing alien creature.
The video is an attempt to highlight the way that even the things that we treat as totally normal and mundane are in fact full of strangeness and wonder.
By using the very simple mirror image technique I’ve made something that’s as ridiculously familiar to us as our hands look ridiculously alien and disconcerting. Who’d have thought that you had such strange alien things stuck on the ends of your arms?

contemporary art - metamorphosis of a hand to become alien by reflection

Carnivorous shoes with teeth

surrealist shoes with mouths and teeth

Carnivorous shoes with teeth

January 2017

A study for a surreal work composed of a pair of shoes with mouths and teeth. The teeth in this study were added digitally.
These particular shoes were chosen partly because the holes at the toe end of the shoes give the impression of eyes.
An unsettling aspect of this concept is that it is normal for a person to put their feet into shoes – however these shoes look as though they would devour anything that was placed in their ‘mouths’. They are almost lying in wait for feet to be placed inside them.
This work may be interpreted as being a metaphor for the manner in which consumerism devours people (especially via the connsumerism of clothing and fashion).
I thought of the concept of carnivorous shoes that devour their wearer many years ago and drew it as a sketch. It’s currently misplaced in my studio so I’m not sure of the year.