The book on your bedside table? The Map that Changed the World by Simon Winchester and My Uncle Tungsten by neurologist Oliver Sacks.
The last meal that truly impressed you? Madam Zingara’s new tent – a spectacle which will be travelling around the country.
The last music you downloaded? If you don’t like my Peaches stay out of my Orchard, sung by Ella Fitzgerald in the St Louis Blues.
The thing you are eyeing next? Completing the sequel to Terra, my next 400-page art book, which examines the materials, minerals, laws, devices and systems artistically that humans use to divide, measure, survey and allocate the wealth that is gleaned from the Earth.
The one thing you will always find in your fridge? Anchovies, wasabi, ginger, tonic water.
The best gift you’ve given recently? Super Boring, a book about artist Wayne Barker’s work, to Carlton Hood, the ex-CEO of Confused.com. And a blue guitar to my nephew that he said he has liked forever. I gave a birthday dinner with a scorpion cake to the editor of our next book – Complicit Geographies. Ivor Powell was a Scorpion (South African FBI) and is an anointed arts writer and original thinker.
And the best one you’ve received? Oxford University gave me stereoscopes and aerial photographs of Spain and the Isle of Skye that were predigital teaching aids. Along with crushed greenstone, minerals, clays, oolytes, fullers earth and coral rag from the sedimentary layers for my paintings to be exhibited at Exeter and in Germany.
The place that inspires you and why? Top of my inspiration is the smelters and mines where massive machinery carve up the earth – nothing in comparison to geological forces, though.