The Culturista

The Edit: Gillian Wearing

The Culturista
The Edit: Gillian Wearing

This spring Gillian Wearing unveils her seminal sculpture of suffragist Millicent Fawcett, celebrating the centenary of votes for women. The Turner Prize winning artist will create the first statue of a woman to be erected in historic Parliament Square. Ahead of the work's installation, Gillian shares the advice that shaped her life, the series that reeled her in, and where to find London's best stir-fry...

portrait Gillian Wearing_medium.jpg

What box set, series or podcast are you hooked on?

"The Crown, I resisted this for many months as I couldn't understand where the drama would be. But this is drama writing and acting at it's best, with an amazing introductory titles sequence where you see the crown evolve from metal to ornate headwear."


What's the first track you play at a party?

"I haven't had a party for many many years but if I did the track would be "If There Is Something" by Roxy Music."


Share the one place everyone should go in their lifetime...

"New York, still has the most amazing skyline in the world, and I can't ever imagine it could be surpassed."


Name your go-to restaurant and signature dish?

"Royal China, Canary Wharf, Stir-fried Bean Curd with Spicy Salt. And vegetable noodles. I could eat this all day long."


Your desert island book?

"The Diary of Samuel Pepys - I haven't read it but being on the island would give me the time it needs as its about a million words long."


Your rainy day film?

"Wizard of Oz, one of the very few films I can watch over and over."


What's the quote you most love?

"'It's never too late to be what you might have been'. This has been attributed to George Eliot, but there is no evidence that she wrote this, but seems to have been someone misquoting something she had said that was close in meaning but not so neatly summed up."


What's the best advice you've been given?

"The best advice I was given was when a teacher on my art foundation course told me I had a fine art sensibility and should pursue that, up until that point I thought I would do graphic design. But they saw something differently, it obviously meant something to me as I followed their advice. It is difficult finding something that works for you, I worked for 6 years as secretary before going to art school and had no clue before that what I wanted to do. The best thing is not to panic but take your time working out what job or skills work best for you."


See more of Gillian's work on the Maureen Paley site

Image credits

Gillian Wearing in front of Wallpaper - 70, 2015, image courtesy of Maureen Paley

Gillian Wearing
Me as Warhol in Drag with Scar, 2010
framed bromide print
156 x 133 x 3.2 cm
© Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley, London, Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York

Gillian Wearing
Me as Arbus, 2008
framed bromide print
156 x 133 x 3.2 cm
© Gillian Wearing, courtesy Maureen Paley, London, Regen Projects, Los Angeles and Tanya Bonakdar Gallery, New York