Maj Rafferty

11 May 2020

Featured in Deptford X: 2019

What are you reading at the moment? 

I always read a lot, often several books at the time, as I read both for work, spiritual matters and for pleasure. Today I am reading The Luminaries by Elanor Catton. 

What does a typical day look like for you?

Coffee – Read – Write – Breakfast – Emails/Phone/meetings – Air – Work – Air – Food – Call my Mum – Read – Cigarette – Sleep. Trying to cut out the cigarette. Somewhere in between that I actually see people, or do some sort of exercise, most of the time I swim or do yoga. And then I walk most places. I will walk from Brixton to Deptford, from Hackney to Camden. Anywhere. But that means it sometimes can take me whole days to get to places. I guess the journey is the destination, innit. Some of my friends find this walking habit annoying though …

Describe your studio/workspace

Books, pictures, flyers, little papers with notes and postcards everywhere. The rest is always changing. Although, I have this picture of Yoko Ono’s Peace Tower from Iceland that I have carried with me for years. Whenever I put that up, anywhere, I feel at home. Also, I enjoy the aesthetic of watching things decay, like flowers or paper , candles, material and other things, broken things are beautiful! When I first read “In Praise Of Shadows” by Jun’ichirō Tanizak, I was taken by the Japanese philosophy of the beauty in decay. So I think my workspace also is influenced by this. I like things that have lived. Oh, and cups. I tend to have four different tea cups going, and two coffee cups.

Where do your best ideas come from?

From strange human behavior. Including my own.

If Tate called you tomorrow and invited you to make work for the Turbine Hall, what would it be?

I would put up a massive video projection of an empty house I used to squat in Brockley. With the traces of people who had lived there.

Plug your next event!

During the quarantine period we have gathered some artists from around the world on this website: I am there posting. Then I am preparing a theater play, written by Christina Tranholm , that I am directing about the Danish women who were linked to German soldiers during the 2nd World War Nazi Occupation. It will be staged in Denmark in Autumn. The play was originally at Camden Fringe in 2018 and is called “The German Girls.”




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