Lots of fun recently quietly observing a furtive pair of artists working silently and swiftly on one of London’s less accessible rooftops.
It took 4 nights and about 50 litres of paint for Sweet Toof and Paul Insect to blend signature imagery in this visible-from-space collaborative masterpiece. In essence, the painting is a double headed face munching away at the rooftop hut. Best viewed from 1,000 feet, the symmetry ensures the effect is the same whether viewed from the east over the Olympic Stadium or the west.
From the photography point of view this mission had a few tricky aspects. Obviously you can’t go throwing huge illuminative arcs of light around so you work with the natural light. The first night, after about 20 minutes the low cloud base boiled away and the urban-orange sky turned black plunging the rooftop into darkness. At the end of the clip you can see the opposite happen. Exposure times varied dramatically between 10 and 30 seconds.
There are two gas boiler outlets on the upper level, the output from those condenser boilers is bloody wet. Using a patented knotted rope to get up there to set up a camera position, the wind would veer and back unpredictably giving the camera a misty drenching.
I flew BA over the Olympic Stadium the other day but couldn’t find any landmarks other than the Olympic Stadium, there should be a prize for the first photo from a scheduled airliner!
Dark Horse, Sweet Toof's first New York solo show opens at Factory Fresh on 29th of April 2011
Paul Insect has just collaborated with Sickboy on an installation at the onethirty3 space in Newcastle
Artists: Sweet Toof, Paul Insect
Photography, video: NoLionsInEngland
Music: Booze - Insanity Drive