Tim Noble and Sue Webster take ordinary things, including rubbish, to make assemblages and then point light to create projected shadows which show a great likeness to something identifiable including self-portraits. The art of projection is emblematic of transformative art. The process of transformation, from discarded waste, scrap metal or even taxidermy creatures to a recognizable image, echoes the idea of “perceptual psychology”, a form of evaluation used for psychological patients. Tim and Sue are familiar with this process and how people evaluate abstract forms. Throughout their careers they have played with the idea of how humans perceive abstract images and define them with meaning. The result is surprising and powerful as it redefines how abstract forms can transform into figurative ones.
Parallel to their shadow investigations, they have created a series of light sculptures that reference iconic pop culture symbols represented in the form of shop-front-type signage and carnival shows inherent of British seaside towns, Las Vegas and Times Square. With the aid of complex light sequencing these signs perpetually flash and spiral out messages of everlasting love, and hate.
Born in Stroud and Leicester, Tim and Sue have created a remarkable group of anti-monuments in their twenty-year career, mixing the strategies of modern sculpture and the attitude of punk to make art from anti-art. Their work derives much of its power from its fusion of opposites, form and anti-form, high culture and anti-culture, male and female, craft and rubbish, sex and violence.
In 2009, Noble & Webster were awarded Honorary Degrees of Doctor of Art at Nottingham Trent University in recognition of their contribution to contemporary British Art and their radical influence on younger generations of artists. Their work is in the permanent collections of the AISTHI Foundation, Beirut, Arken Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide, Artis-François Pinault, France, Berengo Studio, Venice, The British Museum, London, and many others.