Born in London, England, in 1959, I had the kind of middle-class upbringing in the stockbroker belt of Britain’s capital that seemed likely to set my course for life. For a while, all went according to plan. Admiring of an uncle who had been an engineer on the Apollo space program, I dutifully enrolled at Sheffield University to study sciences.
Up to this time, art and I had had a love-hate relationship. A pragmatic child, I’d never much seen the point of it, though that didn’t stop me hiding away in my bedroom for long hours writing stories and experimenting with drawing parabolas and other geometric designs. Now, at University, one too many equations drove me out of academe. I dropped out, and became a born-again artist.
The arts being notoriously difficult as a path in life unless one has a liking for stale bread and cold attics, I decided to be ambitious. I was going to fail at everything. In the years that followed, I was an actor in a small touring theatre company; experimented with electronic music; wrote for the British national music press and other outlets; wrote novels and short stories; took up photography; managed the band Hula, including the UK Black Celebration support tour with Depeche Mode; became a political activist on behalf of the arts; messed around for a while as a hypnotist; and discovered that, thanks to computers, the designs I used to produce as a child could be taken to a whole new level.
As if that wasn’t enough, I travelled a great deal visiting some twenty to thirty countries, before – fifteen years ago – I finally got stuck in the People’s Republic of China.
For now, at least, Guilin in the province of Guangxi with its magnificent karst scenery is my home, where I continue with my artwork and subsist on a diet of cheap rice noodles.