A Collaboration with Andrew Bruce
With an audience of 15 million people at its peak Spitting Image was one of the most popular television programmes of the 80’s and 90’s. Echoing the garish photographs made by Spitting Image creators Peter Fluck and Roger Law before Martin Lambie-Nairn approached them to suggest adapting their creations for television, Fox and Bruce spent weeks in the studio working with a selection of the original puppets. Photographed either against brightly coloured neon backdrops or shrouded by darkness; each image depicts a former Tory party member. Questioning the role of the political image there is a tension in the photographs between the puppets as depiction of people, as cultural icons and also as crumbling modern artefacts. The photographs; rendered in extraordinary detail on large format film, show the puppets at times stripped of their clothing, every mark on the latex or foam is made visible and accentuated, including signs of wear, fragility and decay. Presented in this way, the puppets become evocative emblems of a past era and a faded power.