When I was at art college, I loved going to the museums. As a child my dad used to take me to lots of the museums, and museums are a huge thing in England anyway. There’s a museum everywhere, in every town. So, I was always taken to museums, and then I would start drawing in museums, and I liked the aesthetic of the museum as well.1 And then also when I was at the Slade, I got the opportunity to do anatomy drawing from dead bodies for a year, because the university had its medical department. So, one of the courses we could do, if we wanted, was an anatomy course?
So, I did that for a year, and then I was fascinated by all the bottled stuff, and then they had all the old anatomy books, and everything had a certain aesthetic — and I may well have picked that up somewhere, when I made a very old drawing with a ballpoint pen, which had a lot of white on the paper with these kind of floating skulls and things, and that decision was a lot to do with the way the museum display artworks, and also galleries, but with the museum aesthetic, with the light on the end, kind of Baconesque, kind of weird vitrines with the things in, and I just always liked that.2 It was never a decision consciously, stylistic one. I’d love to be more modern to be honest.
It’s just the way I make stuff just kind of what I respond to I think, and I don’t know whether or not — my parents had a kind of — had a lot of that stuff in the house, I guess, we lived in an old fashioned house, and we never had anything new. Everything was old, everything in our house. So, I always used to think when I was a kid, I dreamt of living in like a brand new house on an estate, and my parents were not into it at all, they had like the old clock, and I was the fourth kid, so all my clothes were hand-me-down and old, and maybe 1970s trainers and stuff.3 So, yeah, everything was kind of vintage, I suppose.