Magic And Alchemy
I wanted to be an artist since I was a really young kid. I think, for me it was a place of sort of magic and alchemy. I was very lucky. When I was young, I met an art teacher at school who opened a door for me. And it was kind of a door of sort of wonder and metaphor really. And I stayed in the school until I went to art school, because I really had a lot to learn, and I didn’t really want to leave my art teacher. And I’m not really sure if I even understood how much he actually was giving me at the time. But you know — sort of learning is a — it’s kind of a slow process. It’s like growing tall, I think. You sort of see one day that your shoes are too small, and you move onto the next shoes until your feet stop growing, and then you sort of — you work on your brain I suppose.
And art school — I mean, my teacher was — he was really a kind of interesting — he was a really interesting man, because he sort of — he was like looking at — he was teaching me about painting. I was looking at Titian, El Greco, Garibaldi, William Blake, so you know, looking at a lot of painting. He had this amazingly magical structured art room. And it was sort of animated with these aquariums that sort of bubbled and hissed, and hummed all day, that sort of divided up the space. And within each space of this art room, there were different sections. So, one would be for life drawing, and one would be for still life, and one would be for sort of cut out. We would do things like pop-ups. What he would do is he’d sort of dissect the space, and sort of abstracted into this large — through this large big room.
But inside the fish tanks, what I always remember, there were these mysterious, and beautiful tropical rare fish, so they would like bubble backwards and forwards the whole day. And there were just — I don’t know, there was a species — he used to have this species, I’ll never forget the name, it was called Cichlid. And the mother, if she didn’t recognize your footsteps would like gather up her young, swooping them into her mouth until everything was safe. But if she knew you, she would let her young sort of swim about. And so, I remember this art room just being a sort of magical — a magical space. It was like a sanctuary, it was warm. And I spent a lot of time in the art room.
So, I think I wanted to be — I mean I didn’t really know what else I wanted to pursue except art really. So, I think from very young I decided that yeah, this is the space that I wanted to stay in actually. Essentially, I mean I realized that I like drawing, I like painting.1 I like making things with my hands. And I realized that it was just a space of — it was a way for me to get over to the other side I think to just — just to sort of open this door I think for me.