Born in Leeds in 1938, Norman Ackroyd is a Royal Academician, a Senior Fellow of the Royal College of Art, and is regarded as one of the greatest living contemporary artists.
I’m currently reading: Alan Bennett’s Untold Stories, and also a book by the splendidly named Edmund Bogg, who was a picture-framer on Wade Street in Leeds in the Thirties, and evidently a more than accomplished local historian because his self-published work is on the Ancient Kingdom of Elmet.
I’ve been listening to: In Our Time on Radio 4, which is hosted by Melvyn Bragg. The subjects discussed cover just about everything – there was one the other week on the Salem witch trials. Fascinating.
On TV, I’ve been watching: Groucho Marx once said that he “found television very educational. When someone switches it on, I go into another room and read a book”, and I subscribe to that view. I watch some sport, some of the interesting documentaries on BBC 4 (particularly on archaeology) and that’s about it.
The film I last saw was: That recent Macbeth, with Michael Fassbender. Truly dreadful. Just played for all the violence and gore.
The live performance I’d recommend is: I wish that David Tennant would give his Hamlet again, now that WAS worth seeing. Brilliantly done, and a lesson in how the lines should flow. I also like the Hidden Orchestra, who are actually a quartet, and who play their music superbly.
My next box set will be: I do get sent a lot of DVDs and CDs as well, sometimes very obscure ones. But the two boxed sets that I return to time and time again, are of music, and they are the Beethoven Piano Concertos, with Simon Rattle and Alfred Brendel, and Chopin played by Artur Rubenstein.
• Norman Ackroyd’s exhibition, Skellig Revisited is at the Zillah Bell Gallery in Thirsk until early January.