Go Away Somewhere
So, I finished — I mean I studied painting at Middlesex, and I studied my foundation at Middlesex, and I did painting at Newcastle. I think I sort of went into painting, because I was actually a bit frightened of all the machines in the sculpture workshop. I thought I was going to cut my hands off or something. And so, I sort of stuck with painting. I think it actually kept me in good stead for a long time, because you were able to envisage spatial relationships on a two-dimensional — and I think that kind of worked. It really helped me much later, especially in terms of how I make the bindi works now, and in terms of actually how I look at sculpture to be honest.
So, I finished art school, and I decided not to do an MA, because I honestly believed that I wouldn’t get into an MA program. Because, if you remember like in the early ’90s that painting was really not a very — they’ve been saying this for years and years, “Painting is dead” and “Painting is alive”, and painting is this. But you know, when you’re 20, anything you read in a magazine, you pretty much believe, and think it’s gospel truth. So, I really thought by God, I’ll never get anywhere, because painting is like — and everybody is making installation now, and everybody is sort of making photography. And their work is — the YBAs had just begun to talk, and to show in London.1
And to be honest, I didn’t really have a place anywhere, because I didn’t really have anything to say. And that’s really the truth, actually. So, I didn’t apply for an MA. And I realized that I — perhaps, London wasn’t — I just kind of instinctively knew that maybe London wasn’t going to be a place for me maybe for five or 10 years, and maybe I should just go away somewhere quietly and make my work. That’s what I did.