Where is your studio? [no need to be too precise if security an issue]
In Shoreditch just up from Liverpool Street Station. This feels like a typical place to have an art studio now but when I bought it in 1987 it seemed so remote. We also rent a railway arch in London Fields which is useful to drive straight in. I love this area and have used it in numerous works including the current show on Cork Street.
What do you like most about the space?
It's a 19thC warehouse on four floors with steep stairs and a Mary Poppins roofscape above. I use the top floor with a high church style ceiling and skylights. It’s quiet and calm but I can trot downstairs and talk to various colleagues on the other floors when necessary.
What frustrates you about it?
Hm, nothing really, I wish I had bought the next door building as well back then.
Do you work alone?
No, I work with ten others, technicians and three managers and we regularly use a range of factories and of course a number of galleries.
How messy is your studio?
What’s the weirdest object in there?
Hm, define weird. I also collect other people’s art, some of which is in my studio and - since these are from around the world and into the past - these might be thought of as the weirder objects. I have a collection of Homo Erectus stone hand axes on my desk and a group of beaded baby carriers from the Dayak tribe in Borneo.
Which artistic tool could you least do without?
Eyes? I make things in so many different ways from laser cut aluminium to LED panels to mosaic and acrylic that no one tool dominates. I am pretty lost when my computer crashes.
What’s the most well-thumbed book in your studio?
Pre websites my work was best recorded in exhibition catalogues, so when researching we often go back to these. I have a book of 19thC woodblock printed landscapes by Hiroshige on my desk that I flick through an image a day for enjoyment and inspiration. It was already well-thumbed when I bought it.
Do you cook in the studio? (Or what’s your typical studio lunch?)
What do you listen to while you’re working?
Spa sounds, relaxation tapes and natural sound CDs mostly. Actual music is too distracting. I use music and sound in some of my works so in this case I switch to those.
Do you ever sleep in your studio?
I did for a period of quarantine. Quite nice, a lot of noisy clubbers outside but nice to jog down to the Thames.
Is anything (or anyone) banned from your studio?
I ask my staff not to pass judgement on any of the works, positive or otherwise as this confuses me. No office lingo or abbreviations and I try to keep visitors to a bare minimum.