Don’t Look Back. My Mum and Dad came over from Jamaica in the 60s with the dream of a better life. It was a bit of a shock moving from a tropical paradise to freezing cold urban Edmonton. Dad drove a lorry and mum worked at a local school but they never complained.
Know what makes you tick. I love mechanical things. When I was 12 I started playing with bikes and motorcycles, rebuilding and making components in the garden shed, and by the time I was 14 I was repairing and building friends’ bikes and learning how to weld. I use all the skills I learnt back then in the metal fabrication I do now.
Survival is about having your own space. Having my own has been important to me since I was a kid. The workshop I have now in Kentish Town isn’t much different. Without that I’d wither.
Stay out of trouble – dance. I never thought I was going to be a ballet dancer. When I hit 18 my mates started to go drinking, clubbing and getting into trouble. It was the early 80s and I felt a bit lost, but then I got the Fame bug and started leaping around like Leroy. I enrolled at the Central School of Ballet and became more focused in life.
You can’t own beauty. I like visual things but it’s not about possessing them. I don’t cry when I say goodbye to a sculpture. It’s about the process of doing it rather than what you end up with.
Save the pennies and the pounds save themselves. I know it’s a cliché, but my mum always used to say it and I wish I’d listened to her. I’ve noticed my clients are frequently in their 70s and 80s. They must have saved.
Interview: Dom Goldberg