‘What Do Artists Do All Day?’
This BBC Four programme was the most delightful half an hour of televisual joy last night, featuring the artist Norman Ackroyd. The son of a Leeds butcher, he is best known for his etchings of the British landscape, most particularly the rocks that surround our islands, jutting dramatically out of the sea. We watched him at work, at his home-cum-printing factory in an old warehouse building in Bermondsey. Then he took us to lunch at his favourite ‘cafe’, a tapas bar nearby. He declined a glass of wine with lunch saying that drinking and etching is like drinking and driving; acid and fingers don’t mix.
His work has an amazing quality. Rooted in place, but drifting off into abstraction. The blog could post his work all day long. I have a new life ambition now, to own an Ackroyd etching. Now there’s something worth working for.