12 April 2020
Featured in Deptford X: 2019
What are you reading at the moment?
I find it difficult to find time to read. However, I do surround myself with books and do dip into them. At the moment it’s mainly exhibition catalogues and journals that I’m lining up. Marlene Dumas, Kieth Vaughan, Keith Haring and Egon Shiele are the main subjects.
What does a typical day look like for you?
No day is typical. I don’t have a fixed regime for working. Depending on the tides I’m often down on the Thames foreshore at the end of Watergate Street. If I’m on the beach I’ll be filling sketch books or collecting materials.There will always be some time in the studio. I’d like to think I make a mark on paper, at least one, every day. Plenty of time out to see exhibitions too.
Describe your studio/workspace
Years ago I bought an old old shop and now what was once my living room and then a gallery is now my studio.There is a danger working from home that domestic issues can steal studio time and occasionally the studio can creep into domestic space and take over other rooms. I’ve enough space for quite large work and a large press so I can’t complain. It would be great to have a studio away from home that meant I was part of a community of artists.
Where do your best ideas come from?
Ideas seem to be put in my path. I work with a lot of found materials and most have been found quite close to home. Sometimes I decide it’s a day to collect ideas on a trip to the Thames foreshore. This year I decided to focus on the self portrait and so my exhibition visits always have that in the back of my mind. Always on the lookout for a way of working, a new material or confirmation that the crazy ideas are not really that crazy.
If Tate called you tomorrow and invited you to make work for the Turbine Hall, what would it be?
It would be my ‘gesamtkunstverk’. What a delicious word. My creative life started with making collages from old Christmas cards and birthday cards. I’ve worked with sound as a medium, created music for ballet, worked small on transparencies, cast in plaster and made large drawings. My Turbine Hall work would be a collage of all those things.
What is helping you the most during this time?
I had been planning to spend this year focusing on the self portrait and now I’m stuck indoors with my chosen subject. The work of Francis Bacon and in particular The Barry Joule Archive has become an early focus with other things in the pipeline. So far I’m just filling sketchbooks. With so much time for self reflection it’s going to be fascinating to see what emerges eventually.