How long have you worked there?
I’ve had the studio since late 2001. I originally shared it with Hayley Tompkins, but she now has another space elsewhere in the building. Although our working processes are clearly very different, it was a pleasure to work alongside her. Previously I’d shared with Alex Pollard in a rather eccentric studio above a hairdressers, but access was inconveniently limited by their opening hours prompting the move here. This studio still meets my needs very well.
How much time do you spend there?
It always feels simultaneously as if I spend both too much and too little time there. I try and stick to some semblance of a regular working day in the studio, but it always varies in relation to what I’m working on and what pressures there are to be elsewhere. When a show or a deadline is looming, I spend a commensurately greater time there. I think the sorry record is maybe a 16 hour day. For a while recently there was a semblance of a Wi-Fi connection from an adjacent office that allowed me to not get stuck at home in the mornings dealing with e-mail, but sadly that loophole’s been plugged!
Do you work alone?
Yes, although the era of sharing spaces combined with the frequent making of wall paintings in the midst of chaotic installation situations means I’m OK at not getting distracted. On some rare occasions someone may be around to assist with something specific, but I’m usually alone.
Do you fraternise with your neighbours?
There are a lot of artists and associated types working in the building, and while the atmosphere is always friendly, people are usually pretty busy so daytime socialising is kept to the level of the occasion chat on the stairs.
Do you work with music? If so, what?I do listen to the radio quite a bit, but when my tolerance is stretched by The Archers or You and Yours the iPod becomes invaluable, most commonly on the randomiser selection. Current selections revolve around Califone, Make Believe, Battles, Tarwater, the Books, early Bert Jansch, ‘Prefuse 73’, Tape and the omnipresent and mighty Fall.
Is most of your work made there?
Virtually everything is developed in the studio, and most things come through for attention at some point, but I also occasionally use the Glasgow Sculpture Studios, and a couple of regular fabricators and framers, to do some work. Obviously the wall paintings are made in situ, but I always plan and prepare working drawings before going to install them.
Do you enjoy tidy or chaos?I definitely enjoy tidy, but it doesn’t always work out that way when I’m under pressure. It always feels good to have a bit of a tidy and clear out at the completion of a project or body of work, so things are usually pretty straight.
Do you store all your materials there?
Yes, it’s essential to have what you need at hand and I usually try to keep a bit of a stock of the main materials I use.
Do you use your studio for anything else?
Besides making work in a direct way, I guess I’m like most artists and do much of my reading and thinking there too. I enjoy the sense of a distinct home/studio split so the studio is really exclusively for all things work related. The balance feels about right as it is about a half-hour walk from my flat to the studio, just about the right amount of time and volume of stimuli to get the brain working.