Photo of Mick Roberts

Mick Roberts

From Damien Hirst and Sarah Lucas to Sam Taylor-Wood and Julian Opie, Mick has worked with some of the most influential artists of our time.

Main details

Department Art
Occupation Young British Artists mentor
Country United Kingdom

Mick quite literally had a hand in creating early prototypes of seminal pieces by the Young British Artists such as Damien Hirst. "I helped Damien make his first Medicine Cabinets. He was quite good at getting other people to do things for him!" Mick explains.

"Damien showed an interest in the macabre very early on, and used to bring medical books in to the workshop and delight in showing me pictures of boils, warts and all sorts of things. He was always trying to shock us!

"Julian Opie was a star from the off. He was a manic maker, building several things at once and using every piece of machinery in the workshop. I remember telling him that he could improve the quality if he worked a little slower but he said he wanted the work to look hastily put together and it worked."

A visit to Mick's busy workshop tells you all you need to know about why he has spent almost four decades at Goldsmiths. Art in progress can be found in every nook and cranny, including in the bin, with some discarded pieces salvaged and pinned delicately to the wall of his office. "I feed off the enthusiasm of the students – that’s why I’ve been here 35 years. Every three years we get a new group and see them and their work develop," he said.

"We get to know the students really well. We don’t offer an opinion on the artistic merit of their work, although they often ask. I say to students when I first meet them 'you can make it as bad or as good as you like'."

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