The Door co-curator and London-based writer Harriet Verney talks to Tim Noble about his first solo piece 'Half Cast', on exhibit at The Door 16th October through 18th of November.

"It's a fucking coffin" ...is Tim Noble’s reply when I ask him to explain "Half Cast” to me.

He is in a foul mood; it's actually quite unbearable. He keeps stomping his foot like a child and I think I just overheard him sarcastically ask the barmaid “how long will a Guinness take to pour?” This is not the usual Tim Noble show. He even looks different. His usual sprouting Jewish curls have been lathered in bleach as though it were weed killer, there is a tufty rats tail at the back of his head which is probably from him hacking his own hair off; like Edward Scissor hands in the dark. His eyes have bin bags swinging beneath them and a once marginally tame smother of marmite-like stubble now looks like an un-managed woodland.

It’s like watching “The Day The Clown Cried.” I ask the same question again.

He ignores me again. Instead he makes a swastika out of pizza crusts and breaks the silence to tell me my beanie looks like something out of Coronation Street. As his bottom lip became like an avalanching cliff edge, the top lip like a wimping willow tree, I knew I was never going to get my answer. I realised that Tim was all about riddles and I've never got a straight answer out of him. It's like pulling a piece of warm chewing gum off the bottom of your shoe or like trying to unknot the kink in a backwards chainsaw chain.

I tell him I’m going to include the entire above “interview” in my write up. He tells me he’ll get someone else to do it. I know he won’t.

Firstly, this is Tim’s debut solo piece. A portrait of his wife Sue Webster. Read into it what you like, it’s a life-size sculpture and it’s wearing a paper bag over its head and a T-Shirt that reads “S.C.U.M.” She is shoved in a doorway, or “coffin” as Tim puts it. “Half Cast” has his macabre sinister humour written all over it.

Half Cast stands in the classic Sue Webster pose. Hands in pocket, a lean to the left, with one foot slightly turned out, it gives the impressions she is an intimidating foot taller than her actual 5ft 3. You don’t even need to see beneath the paper bag to know the look she is giving you. Her stature says it all. There is still something overtly feminine about her too. From the glance of a black curl falling out the brown paper bag to the baggy jeans hanging off her slender hips. The real Sue Webster up close is less like a shark who smells fear and more the woman who smells of Agent Provocateur perfume with a seductive slashing of poison red across her lips.

Secondly, half cast has a slight bulge, a trouser snake. One of those ones clearly visible in a man who wears jeans to tight or one them ones you imagine on a woman who is a trained kick boxer and renowned artist. Therefore Tim Noble presents Sue Webster was a fitting original name for the piece. Casted half from Tim’s body and half from Sue’s.

So what do you get if you put these two ‘other halves together? A Black Whole? Which half is you? I ask Tim.

“The good half” he jokes.

The Society Club hosts THE DOOR, literally a doorway in the heart of Soho and London's first viewable 24 hour outside gallery. THE DOOR showcases British art, curated by writer Harriet Verney and photographer Scarlett Carlos Clarke.


Harriet Verney is a journalist/writer based in London.