This is a beautifully made, very intense story set in the Dominican Republic about a gardener who works for a wealthy family in the city. He finds out that his father has been killed so he goes back to his home village. It has a really interesting contrast between the metropolis and the small village scenario. The village is shot very close up and very lovingly, full of its texture and daily noise. And he’s caught between different lifestyles, not doing what’s expected of him. It’s not an easy narrative – there’s a lot of stuff around spirituality and mysticism.
Tania is an artist who lives in the US. She often speaks about power relationships in her work, which is usually multimedia and always has some very interesting social commentary. Her style is quite confrontational, and you never really know what to expect: a couple of years ago she rode into the gallery on a horse. Often, in discussion about her practice, she invites lots of people to come in and be involved. Later this year she has the Hyundai commission at Tate Modern, which I’m really looking forward to. I’m also really looking forward to Lubaina Himid in conversation with Maria Balshaw at Tate Britain – I think that’s going to be great.
She’s a very versatile musician who moves between jazz and very experimental sounds. Her vocal range is extraordinary – she has a really clear, youthful, beautiful voice. She’s a powerhouse of a performer: I’ve seen her live in concert as well as doing solo performances in galleries, and she moves seamlessly between different kinds of spaces. She’s done things with Goldie, for instance, where she’s sampled in. I would say she comes out of the tradition of Kate Bush really, that side of things. Definitely someone to look out for.
Whenever my partner and I get a chance to have a date night we’ll often go here. It’s very small, but intimate and with a lovely atmosphere. The owner [Rick Gibbs] set it up maybe 15 years ago and it’s a bit of a gem in Tooting. It’s a modern European style, often French or Spanish-influenced. The food is always lovely, with good sauces, and there’s a great selection. My partner likes all the meaty dishes, but they also do a great range of vegetarian dishes.
This is a tense, nonlinear book set in a fictionalised town in the southern states of America. It’s about faith healers who are trying to kind of rescue the town but particularly rescue one of the residents. It’s a book I read in the 1980s, when it first came out, and recently I’ve gone back to it. I very rarely read fiction – most of what I read is about art or theory. So I’ve got back into this book and its murky world, which is almost science fiction but not. Toni Cade Bambara was part of that generation of writers like Toni Morrison.
Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester
They did a big renovation project that opened three years ago and I’ve only this year had a chance to go and see. I’d heard so many wonderful things about it. It’s a 19th-century building in a park in Manchester, but its interior is very mid-20th century. And then the new extension: there’s a lot of glass, a lot of light coming in. I think it’s almost doubled in size. It’s really beautifully done. They have great shows on, but it’s well worth going to just sit and have a cup of tea in the cafe.