What is Them and Us about?
Them and Us is about the divisions in society, our need to have an in-group and an ‘other’. All around the world societies are becoming polarized. It’s a fun show where I use technology to constantly survey the audience about their political, social and aesthetic choices. I want them to cringe/laugh!
What would you do differently to what you do now?
I would have done everything earlier, I was a late developer – my art career didn’t take off till I was forty and my TV career at fifty – now I’m loving being on stage and I’m nearly sixty!
Who inspires you and why?
It could be anything, a conversation, a TV or radio show, an article on twitter, an artwork in a museum. I am always looking for patterns in society and mischief. What makes me angry and what makes me joyful.
What would you do to make a difference in the world?
After I have solved global poverty and war and climate change, I would carry on trying to communicate the big, complex important ideas in a fun and attractive way. Whilst looking fabulous in a ridiculous gown of course.
Favourite holiday destination and why?
I dislike holidays, I feel unmotivated and bored. I like working abroad so I see countries from the tradesman’s entrance. I’ve just finished shooting a series in the USA for channel 4 and we went to a lot of ordinary suburban places – but I loved it. I like meeting a wide variety of people and work helps me do that.
When friends come to town, what attraction would you take them to, and why?
I would take them on a long slow bicycle ride around central London about eight o’clock on a summer evening so they could witness the buzz and variety of the city, the beautiful old streets and the milling crowds. We could stop several times for a beer.
What are you currently reading?
I am reading Perfidious Albion by Sam Byers – which is a novel set in a near future Britain where the internet and social media play an even more central role in everyone’s lives. It is fun and sharp and is really just a teeny bit of an exaggeration of what is going on right now in the shit-show that is Brexit Britain.
What are you currently listening to?
Ghosteen by Nick Cave. I am a fairly recent convert to him and am sampling and relishing treats from his back catalogue. I am a fan of a slushy ballad and his are so poignant and intelligent.
Good fun warm relationships with friends and family, a beer in the back garden, a nice cycle or motorcycle ride, a delightful new dress, work going well, a juicy box set on TV. Normal stuff, happiness is not a peak experience it’s contentment not ecstasy.
What does the future hold for you?
Next year I have a touring show of my early artwork called The Pre-Therapy Years – that is going round the UK. I am already working on the follow up stage show to Them and Us which will tour the country next autumn. I am working on artwork about the USA in response to my experiences there this summer which I hope to also exhibit there.
Image: Grayson Perry (supplied)