To be ‘tongue in cheek’ is to be glib, humorous and light–hearted. This sense of lightness is suggested by the perforations that pierce and soften the heavy bronze and the cavernous opening, which runs through the length of this work.
The creation of these hollow, perforated surfaces is a unique technique developed by Cragg to create an unusual surface quality, one which intentionally belies the weight of the substantial bronze from which it is made.
Following Cragg’s interview for the National Life Story Collection (National Sound Archive, British Library, London, recorded June and December 2004), Jon Wood has said of Cragg’s work that there can often be “an intriguing blend of anthropomorphism and the language of scientific diagrams.” ‘Tongue in Cheek’ is an example of this, as this sculpture is an elaboration of the physical process of literally sticking one’s tongue in one’s cheek. Cragg has cast this work using a ‘tongue in cheek’ approach to the typically serious nature of bronze casting.