I always liked art. I always made things but I also - it never crossed my mind to make a career out of it, to be honest. I don’t know what I had in mind for a career. You know, I thought, maybe I’ll become an optician or I might write books. I’m surprised more than anything, maybe not scared, just surprised, because you still always think it’s not really going to last. I still feel that way now.
Those kind of formative years when I was doing other types of work or maybe just writing in some cases that it all sort of feeds in in its own way. When I write it’s normally something that I can’t paint and I paint what I can’t write, so most of the paintings, the narrative isn’t that clear. The combination of found images and imagination and drawing and actually just working it out in paint as I go along, so that becomes a narrative in itself.
There’s people in the paintings but they somehow don’t make sense as portraits. For me, it’s painting. I suppose it’s the difference between working from a person that you’re trying to capture than actually trying to invent one, trying to create one.
There are figures that recur, there are themes that recur, there are poses that recur. Sometimes they just act as reminders, they’re things that I want to be reminded of. Things that I want to bring back into the work.
I think it’s important to let things be self-explanatory. I think it’s important that it’s a sensual experience, that it’s about something to do with the senses and it’s to do with reading something but not necessarily any kind of justification I might offer because I don’t always think it’s useful.
The nomination is a real honour, it’s a real - a very big surprise. I don’t think you can allow anything like that to change anything. It’s like running a marathon and having people standing alongside and clapping. It’s great, it makes you feel good, it’s a little sort of jolt and a boost but you still have to keep running, maybe forever. There’s no finishing line.