I love to lie here in the middle of the gallery and just look at the ceiling art.
Now, the young fellow in the top hat there is a very distant cousin of my family. He’s called Gingerly Bumstock Hooty, and he can be seen there with his then girlfriend Yolandra. And Gingerly would often dress up in his small red boiler suit and go out and find poor people in the countryside, and then Yolandra would show them a coin. Wouldn’t give them the coin, because that would be encouraging the poor people to be greedy; but Gingerly wanted to show them what it was like to have a coin!
I’m standing in front of one of my favourite pieces of work in the gallery – Hundred Mile Walk, by Richard Long. It’s basically just an account of the walk that Richard went on, and it’s done like notes about what happened on the walk. It’s really simple – anyone can do it, it’s great fun – although he does say on day 3, he sucked icicles from the grass stems. That’s dangerous and irresponsible.
I’ve done my own piece. Mine is called A walk before Sunday lunch, and you can see here it’s got basically the route I took from my house down to Yolley’s Pond and then to the pub, the Gun and Spatchcock.
If you look at the young beggar boy there, actually these days he would have a number of options open to him; he could form quite a good Indie band with that hair, and his unusual choice of clothing. Or he could appear on any number of television talent shows, the Wow Factor, Fame Hunt, Star Wars – but of course in those days, that wasn’t an option. The only thing they had was Pimp my Hay Wain, and very few people watched that.
I think that’s terrifically brave, to have such a massive snake next to what is really quite a small…