My Week: The artist and joint co-ordinator of this year's Royal Academy of Arts summer exhibition

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The Independent Online
SUNDAY

I wake up at my house in Oxfordshire, where I have a second studio and have been spending the past 20 years with my wife turning a sheep meadow into a garden woodland.

SUNDAY

I wake up at my house in Oxfordshire, where I have a second studio and have been spending the past 20 years with my wife turning a sheep meadow into a garden woodland. I spend the morning painting and the afternoon tending trees. In the evening, we drive up to London, although it's hard to wrench oneself away in the summer months.

MONDAY

I get down to work in my studio in Smithfield, where I'm working on a sculpture project for someone in Virginia, based on Manet's painting Le déjeuner sur l'herbe. The full-scale piece will be about 20 feet long, on an escarpment overlooking the Blue Ridge mountains.

TUESDAY

I spend the morning dealing with business mail and then go up to the academy. It's non-members Varnishing Day, which is named after old days when painters would come in to add highlights to their works, and even varnish them. Some people still come in to dicker around, but mostly it is a party for those who have been lucky enough to have work accepted for the summer exhibition. I look at proofs of a free brochure which will identify, with names and photographs, the people outside the fine arts area - scientists, film-makers, designers - who have contributed drawings and notations that they made as part of their creative activity. Brian Eno's name will jump out at one person, Alexander McQueen to another. It's a gentle way of educating people to what drawing can be.

WEDNESDAY

I work in the day, and in the evening attend a Royal Academy dinner for members and invited guests. It's a white-tie affair, where "medals may be worn". Simple for me, because I don't have any. The guest speaker is Robert Hughes, the art critic, who speaks about why the 21st century needs an academy.

THURSDAY

Press Day. I've been chief co-ordinator of this year's exhibition, with David Hockney. We do a photo call, but with all the long lenses pointed at him, I could have drifted off and no one would have noticed. In the evening, there is a ball for the high-rollers, where there is a fantastic level of glamour. Not surprisingly, I notice a lot of long legs and a very well-turned heel.

FRIDAY

We leave early for the country, but I continue interviews - with you now and later with Mariella Frostrup.

Interview by Matthew Hoffman

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