I called it Still Life because I wanted to explore the timelessness of art and the beauty of the palette, but the show went through a directional change and it is now mainly about the painstakingly arduous and utterly pointless continuity of life.
You have often been politely described as “eccentric”. How far do you feel this is an accurate description?
Behind my eccentric stage persona I’m actually a lot more unusual: I go for weeks eating nothing but venison, I bury chopsticks in random Buckinghamshire window boxes and I smash greenhouses with golf clubs at the dead of night.
Are you ever plagued with doubt or anxiety?
Let’s not be fanciful here, we all know that anxiety isn’t a plague. There are three types of plague: bubonic, harmonic and scenic. I never experience anxiety but I am sometimes overwhelmed with loneliness. I sit in the airing cupboard and weep.
Are there any things you particularly like or dislike about Edinburgh?
I don’t like the cobbles, they make the forward rolls quite painful after a while. Also there are too many uphill bits. If I was the mayor I’d bulldoze all the historical stuff: the castle – all the things nobody cares about, and install a massive travelator system.
Do you have any suggested solutions to the world economic crisis?
Float more origami swans on the stock market and swap share portfolios for Cher portfolios.
What makes you laugh?
Really tragic things, like at my local farmers’ market there’s this woman who sells over-priced raisins, bits of dried fruit dipped in chocolate and nobody ever buys any of it and she looks on the verge of tears – comedy gold. And once my friend hosted a dinner party and was bragging about how he cooks a killer spaghetti Bolognese, and he dropped the whole lot on the floor – hilarious.
Do you have a favourite holiday destination?
The villa of hate.