Is there anything else about the work at SCP that we should know about?
I think that I should make one, well it’s difficult to make one, but a few. If we go downstairs in a bit, we could get three canvases and make smaller versions. I don’t know if they will work out, because it won’t be fully focused, but we could just play, and then at least I can reveal that process, you can capture it. Whether the final work is good who knows, but at least you will see the process. It can be a nice thing, it might help to describe it by doing, rather than words.
Do you have an ideal kind of working day?
Yes, I am quite dogmatic. I have a list of things I must do. I don’t call it work, I just call it part of living. But I feel like every day, I have to run. I will run my daughter to school, then run round Clissold Park, then round Hackney Downs, I do six miles every day. I’ve been running every day for about the last four years, and I found since doing that, I don’t get injured. If I feel tired, I just run slowly. I run the Hackney Half every year, at the beginning I was never interested in times, or places, I would just run it. Then suddenly, I saw my result, and I thought that’s quite good, I should see what happens if I train. But then I run every day, but I am not training for speed, but now I am still getting faster, every year, even though I am getting older.
Presumably you’ve read Murakami’s running book?
Yes, it’s great. Have you read Born to Run? That’s great. I am really interested in how running falls into my creative practice. By running, I feel like it gets all that anxiety and nervous energy, that’s kind of just dumped, and I come back after that run, and I feel totally grounded. Then I am able to deal with emails, and questions and things, I feel calm, there is no anger or frustration. That’s where I can really make work. If I think I am fighting the work. I think I feel angry, and the run just chills that out.
I totally agree. I have been in the habit of swimming a lot in the mornings, and I find the same, it kind of creates its own momentum for the day, then everything takes less time and is more smooth.
I think about all these things, I run, I meditate, and I think how am I going to take all this time from my day to do all these things? But I feel like they add time, but taking ten minutes out to meditate, it really puts you in a better space to be able to recognise things in the world, recognise to be present, to focus on breath, if I start getting anxious I recognise to breathe. You just save so much time by having these things in your working practice. So my day consists of a run, a breakfast, then usually I will start making something spontaneously, a painting, or some art project. Then I will park that while it dries, or I will leave that after an hour, and then I will do some computer stuff, which is usually responding to requests, about can I buy that, or send that, admin stuff, that will take up an hour. Then I will have some lunch, which is an important time. I make sure I cook lunch and spend time eating it. Then I will have a couple of hours before I pick up my daughter from school, and then when she is asleep I will spend a bit of time working in the evening.