First Word: David Shrigley

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First Word: David Shrigley

The artist talks about 80s music, pumpkins, and the joys of being tall

First record you ever bought
‘Einstein A Go-Go’ by Landscape on 7” single. It was a big hit in 1981.

Last time you were chatted up
Most of the time I don’t even realise I’m being chatted up – so it could have been recently.

First film you saw that really moved you
Well, The Jungle Book was the first film I ever saw, and I think as a child you find everything quite moving.

Last lie you told
Yesterday I said I’d had lots of ideas for a project I’m working on, but really I’ve not even thought about it yet.

First movie you ever went on a date to
It was The Great Mouse Detective in 1986.

Last time you cried
When my grandmother died recently – she was 97.

First thing you do when you’ve got time off work
I go shopping for records at my favourite record shop. Or I go to Partick Thistle football matches.

Last great meal you cooked
Pumpkin soup using vegetables from my partner’s allotment – but it was great due to the quality of the produce rather than any culinary skill on my part.

Last extravagant purchase you made
I bought a car at the start of this year – that’s quite extravagant in a recession.

First crush
You’ll think I’m really weird but it was Daphne from Scooby Doo – yes, when she was a cartoon character!

Last book you read
Light in August by William Faulkner, on holiday a few weeks ago. It’s a total classic.

First great piece of advice you were given
When I was younger, my parents always said ‘just do your best’.

Last time you were star struck
A few years ago I saw the band Pavement hanging out in a bar in Glasgow, but just as I’d plucked up the courage to go and talk to them, a young art student came up to me and said, ‘Aren’t you David Shrigley?’ and the moment was lost.

First thing you’d do if you ran the country
I would change the electoral system to Proportional Representation because it’s more democratic.

Last meal on earth – what would it be?
Probably something really unhealthy that I would never normally eat, like burger and chips.

First song you’ll sing at karaoke
‘Non, je ne regrette rien’ by Edith Piaf.

Last time you exploited your position to get something
I don’t think I ever have – except maybe using my height to get things off shelves or to get a good view at gigs.

First time you realised you were famous
When I did a talk at the Art School and people came along to see me.

Last time someone criticised your work
They do it all the time!

First three words your friends would use to describe you
Tall. Laidback. Slow.

Last time you made an impulse buy and regretted it
I do it all the time with records because I’m always looking for something new.

First concert you ever attended
Altered Images at the De Montfort Hall in Leicester in 1981.

Last time you bought someone flowers
I quite often buy flowers for my mum.

First thing you think of when you wake up in the morning
What time is it? Do I have to get up for anything?

Last thing you think of before you go to sleep
What time is it? Do I have to get up for anything?

David Shrigley features in the Running Time exhibition at the Dean Gallery, Edinburgh, 17 Oct – 22 Nov, admission free.

Running Time

  • 4 stars

This ambitious exhibition, dedicated to Scottish artist films, features a unique selection of over 100 film and video works by over 60 artists, created in the past 50 years. The theme changes weekly. Highlights include David Hall's influential 'Television Interruptions', which was broadcast unannounced in 1971.

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