A Misunderstanding

There can be little more irresistible than the sight of a baby staring into ones eyes and smiling. At around three months most will look at people’s faces and it is clearly a view they find captivatung. Those early stares are not exclusively directed at their parents. Over the past few weeks I have been stared…

Alone with Thomas Tallis

  There is something overwhelming about being a tiny and inconsequential part within a giant canvas. Just looking up at the Milky Way always does this for me (“Sartre had an answer”. joecollier.blog. 3 September 2017), and there have been other, very specific occasions, too. I could not have felt smaller and more in awe…

Every Rug Tells a Tale

Turn right as you leave our Paris studio and in two minutes you will be peering mesmerised into the Galerie du Luxembourg. With its brightly displayed rugs covering walls, floors and diverse pieces of furniture, walking straight past would be unthinkable. And if interest in the rugs palls, there is always some human diversion on…

Two Parties and Three Gems from Santa

  Over coffee after a long walk a friend described my attitude towards Christmas as ‘bah humbug’. Such a comment would normally go unnoticed; this time it made me think. My mother was a romantic secular Jew who, throughout my childhood, made Christmas a magical event, and so it remains. The exchange of cards and…

Creditworthy

    I find walls endlessly fascinating and, knowing of my interest, my wife Rohan beckoned me over. She was standing on a tiny enclosed terrace and suggested I take a close look at one of its surrounding walls - there was something special that I should not miss. Staring at the massive, regular, cream-coloured…

Hold Tight!

My knees were at their worst over Christmas 2014. They are better now, but then, walking up and down stairs was very painful. At the time, I was having to navigate two flights of stairs twice a day as I changed trains at Clapham Junction. Pain could be lessened by holding on to the bannisters…

When Time Stands Still

  Klim and I first met when we were eight years old. We lived in different parts of town, went to different schools and were in different gangs, but our lives were always criss-crossing. In our twenties we grew closer as first we shared ‘digs’ at university and then a flat in London. A lifetime’s…

Space Odyssey

    Near us in Richmond is a gatehouse built by Henry VII in around 1500. It is one of the few remaining parts of his palace. Each time I walk through its archway I become aware that I am occupying the same space through which once passed the likes of Henry VII, Henry VIII,…