My Secret Life: Polly Morgan, 32, artist


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The Independent Culture

My parents were... My mum was a grafter and my dad very imaginative. I hope I've inherited both those qualities.

The household I grew up in... was chaos. There were animals everywhere: hamsters, chickens, dogs, cats, goats, llamas, fish and a budgie. I have no idea how we all managed to live side by side without killing each other.

When I was a child I wanted to be... living in the city. In the absence of cigarettes I'd sit on my windowsill smoking rolled-up bits of paper like an urbanite, looking out on trees wishing they were skyscrapers. Now I'm here, I long for the country.

You wouldn't know it but I am very good at... spelling. And very intolerant of those who can't!

You may not know it but I'm no good at... holidays. Being productive keeps me sane. If you take away my purpose, my personality goes too.

At night I dream of... scraping fat off things. The repetitive fat-removal stage of taxidermy gets lodged in my brain and everything in my dream world becomes coated in it.

I wish I had never worn... so much unflattering rubbish at 20 when my figure was best! Perhaps affording good clothes is compensation for losing looks.

What I see when I look in the mirror... Increasingly, my father.

It's not fashionable but I like... elasticated waistbands.

I drive... a Jeep Wrangler. I get a lot of thumbs up from rude boys.

My house is... a converted factory in Hackney Wick. Every day the need to meet my mortgage payments gets me out of bed earlier.

Movie heaven... I only watch one film, Grizzly Man by Werner Herzog, so I'll have to say that one.

My greatest regret... Ever trying to be normal.

My secret crush... Boris Johnson.

My real-life villain... Anthropomorphic food packaging, as in 'Hello, I'm a wickle bottle of juice, please throw me away when you've enjoyed me!'. I haven't reached the age of 32 to be spoken to like a child by a bit of cardboard.

The person who really makes me laugh... is my assistant Kim. She's so un-PC she should be arrested.

The last time I cried... When Trotsky, my Staffordshire bull terrier, was hit by a car. When he'd recovered from the shock his first act was to come and offer up his paw to comfort me. I cried with overwhelming relief.

What's the point? Canine frolics.

My life in six words... Think, do, think, do, think, do.


Polly Morgan was born in 1980, and grew up in the Cotswolds. She studied English at Queen Mary, University of London and started working as an artist in 2005. Her love of animals prompted her to train in taxidermy with George Jamieson, and her sculptures have been bought by galleries and collectors including Banksy, Damien Hirst and Charles Saatchi. Morgan joins over 70 artists selling limited editions at The Vauxhall Art Car Boot Fair on 27 May (see