UNDER THE SKIN

 

– Limited Edition NFTs (soon to be released)-

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In my career as a creature performer, I’ve had the pleasure of bringing some extraordinary characters to life, including sloths, lizards, apes, aliens and robots of various types (including the Cyberman for Doctor Who), and a Teletubby (I was Tinky Winky).

For my origin collection, I wanted to explore the surreality of my experiences in this line of work.  The fantastic challenges of creating living, breathing characters on screen while encased in layers of foam, fur, rubber and electronics.

The lives of the characters that I create on screen are a far cry from the reality of working inside the creature suits. The physical demands are often extreme, the conditions challenging, and the expectations high. But the rewards are immense; working with some of the best fabricators and engineers in this extremely niche world, breathing life into inanimate materials, playing in fantastical worlds, inhabiting the lives of non-human creatures.

I created UNDER THE SKIN to memorialise my work in this field, as well as to celebrate all the creature performers sweating away in hot suits to bring magic to the screen.

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ASTRO TINKS

 

While on set in the Tinky Winky suit, I often thought that it must be similar to how an astronaut might feel. The suit was large and cumbersome.  The head offered no peripheral vision. The only way to communicate with the other cast members and the director was via an earpiece and head mic. The set was a giant blue-screen studio, with no way to distinguish depth. It was the closest I’ll ever be to walking in an alien landscape.

 

Limited edition of 100. Original artwork is 4000x4000px .gif format.

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SMOKED APE

 

I performed as a singing gorilla in a band for a popular children’s TV show on the BBC. The head piece was packed with animatronics – remote controlled servos that animated the face via a series of paddles and levers. On occasion, the servos would overheat and generate copious amounts of noxious, thick white smoke.  When this happened, there was no choice but to take a deep breath, stay calm, and wait for the support team to dash in and remove the head.

 

Limited edition of 100. Original artwork is 4000x4000px .gif format.

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HOT CHIP

 

The Cyberman is the quintessential villain; all cool, cold logic. Very different from the internal temperatures experienced while filming in August in a tree-less cemetery wrapped in neoprene. My abiding memory is crouching to fit as much of my body into the meagre shade of a tombstone at noon.

 

Limited edition of 100. Original artwork is 4000x4000px .gif format.