I didn't really know what I was looking at when I first came across Man Ray's 'Dust Breeding,' his photograph of a work by Marcel Duchamp called 'Large Glass.' It looked like an aerial photograph or a view through a microscope.
I don't want to feel like an ambulance chaser, but very often, when I hear about a fire, my first instinct is to make a piece of art out of it.
Art historical reference is like learning to drive a car - you always know how to drive even though you're not analysing how.
Maybe it's my Catholic upbringing - I grew up thinking that Armageddon was just around the corner - now I know it is, with global warming and all. I can keep it at bay by doing the work. It's a sort of reverse sympathetic magic. I'm always doing it so it doesn't happen to me.
I was selling bric-a-brac in Portobello and Camden Market. I love objects. But I was embarrassed by the idea of collecting, so I began using these things in my art.
Driving a steamroller over an old trumpet or a teaspoon is no more destructive than taking a chisel to a lump of marble already torn from the landscape. But people don't see it that way because marble is considered noble.
Being a sculptor who uses found objects, all the objects I use in my work have been designed by other people. So I'm tweaking them in some way by squashing them or throwing them off cliffs! Then I formalise my damage by suspending them or arranging them in some kind of way. So I'm using other people's design in a way, so I'm an 'un-maker.'
Traditional conceptual art is very dry.
My parents were always doubtful about my making a living as an artist. Even when I was up for the Turner Prize, my mum suggested I apply for a curator's job.
I am not a propagandist; my work has often had a political dimension but, hopefully, one that is not didactic and is open to interpretation.
I try to avoid the 'art world' as much as possible. It's too much about fads and fashions - who's getting the best prices at auction and things like that.
Paul Auster is my favourite writer, and I'm sure he'd be a very interesting person to share a journey with.
I was involved in a serious accident driving in torrential rain at midnight in Cardiff. I was only doing five miles an hour, but because I couldn't see very well, I crossed a junction and collided with another car that was driving very fast. I ended up in hospital for six weeks with a shattered pelvis.
Artists and scientists are very close. They always have been, but I think we've just been divided out over the last few centuries into specialisms. Leonardo da Vinci was drawing helicopters and all kinds of things. We're artificially divided. I think we're closer than we think we are.
Who thought it would be a good idea to undermine art in the school curriculum? Who thought studying the history of our visual culture was a waste of time? Who thought that only private schools should have that privilege? Was it someone who said we don't need experts?
People often want the big dramatic works, not the smaller quieter ones, but I don't worry about how it fits together anymore; I just have to do it. I feel compelled to make a work: it's like an itch I have to scratch, and once it's been scratched, it goes away.
To make large, site-specific work as an artist is usually quite tortuous; there are so many boxes you have to tick.
A lot of my work has been about stuff I've been frightened of: cliffs, explosions, meteorites, that kind of stuff. I would have been this trembling blob of fear if I hadn't got into making art, which is a good way of deferring it.