On my radar: David Shrigley’s cultural highlights

<span>Photograph: Karen Robinson/The Guardian</span>
Photograph: Karen Robinson/The Guardian

The Turner prize-shortlisted artist David Shrigley was born in Cheshire in 1968 and studied at Glasgow School of Art. Known for his deadpan style, his work spans drawing, sculpture, installations and music videos. In 2016, he put a 10-metre-high bronze thumbs up on Trafalgar Square’s fourth plinth. An exhibition of Shrigley’s work – Mainly Multiples, Some Paintings & Other Stuff Too – is at Hang-Up Gallery, London N1 until 27 January. He lives in Brighton with his wife.

1. Book

The Passengers by Will Ashon
This book was started in 2018 and completed during the pandemic. Ashon had a list of questions that he sent, almost at random, to a panorama of people across the UK, from all walks of life. Their responses are edited into short monologues, from a few pages to a few sentences, and you really get an idea of who these people are and the context they’re talking from. It must have been a massive editing job. I suppose it’s a snapshot of our times, which could be quite a trite ambition, but it’s a really successful, interesting and compelling book.

2. Gig

Pavement at the Manchester Apollo

I’ve been a really big fan of Pavement for many years but I haven’t seen them live since 1999. They played the Manchester Apollo in October, supported by another band I really like called the Lovely Eggs, so I made a pilgrimage up from Brighton to see them – the first indoor gig I’ve been to since the pandemic. It was a really joyful show. We got to meet them afterwards and I was a bit starstruck. I didn’t quite have the audacity to take all my old records to be signed.

3. Food

River Exe Cafe, Exmouth, Devon

River Exe Cafe.
Book now for next year… the River Exe Cafe. Photograph: Alamy

I had an unusual food experience a few months ago. I’d been living in Devon during the pandemic and some friends took me and my wife to this cafe on a barge in the middle of the Exe estuary. You have to go there by water taxi or by boat, if you happen to have a boat. It’s a seafood restaurant and the food is really good, but the really beautiful thing about it was the experience of getting there. It’s not open again till April, so if you book now you might be able to go in the summer.

4. Album

Made Out of Sound by Chris Corsano and Bill Orcutt

This came out last year but I only discovered it recently. Chris Corsano is the most fantastic drummer I’ve ever seen. He plays with a lot of left-field rock bands but also does jazz stuff. Bill Orcutt used to play guitar in a noise band called Harry Pussy and has done some really interesting solo stuff in the past 12 years. This is a rock record that feels improvised and deconstructed.

5. Venue

Corn Exchange, Brighton

I don’t go to the theatre all that much but I’m excited about the reopening of the Corn Exchange, next to the Brighton Dome. It was originally built as a riding school for the Prince Regent and it apparently has the largest span of any timber-framed roof in the country. They started renovating it in 2017 and then ran into a few obstacles, but it’s nearly ready to open. I think it’s inspiring to see such a big venue being recreated at a time when the arts are being cut and everything seems to be going to shit.

6. Football

Whitehawk FC

Whitehawk fans preparing for a match against Dagenham & Redbridge in the 2015 FA Cup.
Whitehawk fans preparing for a match against Dagenham & Redbridge in the 2015 FA Cup. Photograph: PA Media/Alamy

One of the nice things about living in Brighton is going to watch football. Whitehawk is an amateur team in the sixth tier of English football, but it’s a great environment. They’ve been embraced by a very progressive fanbase, so there’s no racism, no sexism, no homophobia, no bad language. It’s a self-policing thing. It’s the antithesis of all the other football that I’ve experienced in my life – I grew up as a Nottingham Forest supporter and I still go and watch them, but it can be quite horrible.

7. Pub

The Hand in Hand, Brighton

the Hand in Hand pub, Brighton.
‘Really special’: the Hand in Hand pub, Brighton. Alamy Photograph: MJ Perris/Alamy

This pub is just around the corner from my studio. It’s a tiny place with a gravity-assisted brewery. I lived in Glasgow for 27 years and I never found any pubs that I really liked, but when I moved to Brighton it seemed there were loads of great ones. And the Hand in Hand is a really special pub. Seemingly everybody who goes there falls in love with it. It’s got a lot to do with the big-hearted people who run it. And the beer is really nice as well.