Cragg produces between three and five versions in different materials of nearly a dozen new works every year. He employs 20 full time workers in his studio, where the lingua franca is German. "The space works really well. I have a team of people who are very good at different aspects of handwork ... What I try to use the studio for is what I call ‘thinking with material’. To do that you need an arena. You need a page to write on. You need a space to work in. That is what a studio is."
Camden, north London
Rego sits with her model of over 20 years, Lila Nunes, who came over from Portugal – Rego’s native country – to care for the artist’s husband and has sat for her ever since. Rego comes to her studio “not every day but mostly ... habit is a good thing. If you pick up a pencil and look at something and draw it, that cheers you up.” Rego’s studio is filled with the papier-mâché characters she uses for models, and has been described as looking like a little chamber of horrors. “As a caricaturist I like the obscene, the grotesque – the beautiful grotesque.”
Angel, north London
“My studio is somewhere that I find incredibly peaceful to come to. I sometimes come in for half an hour and look at books or just think. It’s an oasis I suppose ... I find it quite hard to have other people in this space. It taints it ... I know it’s a filthy messy space, but it’s my filthy messy space
Deptford, south-east London
“I tend to work on the floor, sometimes on the wall and then on the floor. It’s constant movement between the vertical and the horizontal. Part of the reason I work on the floor is that I need the physical contact. You get the consistency of gravity and you can move the paint around ... I try to get in to my studio as often as possible. At times I set myself a certain goal to reach. Some days are very long.”
Walthamstow, north-east London
“When I was at college we all had our little chipboard cubicles that we worked in. Someone came up and went: ‘Oooh, you’ve got a meaty space!’ And I thought , yeah, I do like to have a busy space. I like the feeling that it’s got a density of creativity going on ... Claire never goes to the studio. Making pottery is a dirty business. You don’t go to the studio in a nice dress. It’s where you get on with stuff and make a mess and collapse in an armchair and listen to The Archers”
Quinn’s orderly studio is crammed with works from his Garden series and sculptures that depict celebrities such as Kate Moss. "The studio is the place where it’s my world. When I leave I do take work home in my mind, you always carry it in your mind, but hopefully you can separate it or you will go insane. You have to turn your head off sometimes."
"My studio does affect my work but not the core element. When I get in there I find my feet quite quickly ... A studio changes depending on what you need at a particular time. It can be a laboratory of ideas; it can be a safe haven; it can be somewhere you don’t want to go because the work’s not going right. If I’m not in the studio I feel a magnetic-pull back to it. It’s been like that since I was quite young."
"One thing I can’t do is share a studio. I can’t stand other people. I don’t want them anywhere near me when I’m working. I pretty much work office hours. I start at seven in the morning and finish at seven in the evening.’ Shaw lives and works in the same building, working downstairs in an abandoned shop and living upstairs with his girlfriend. ‘I go upstairs just before The Archers ... unless something drastic happens!"
Sanctuary: Britain’s Artists and their Studios, edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi, with essays by Iwona Blazwick, Richard Cork, Tom Morton, and photography by Robin Friend, is published by Thames & Hudson at £48 hardback.
For a groundbreaking book, 120 of Britain's most celebrated and emerging talents have granted rare access to their work spaces, offering a compelling behind-the-scenes glimpse into their artistic processes, capturing them at their most creative, experimental and sometimes chaotic
Sanctuary: Britain's Artists and their Studios, edited by Hossein Amirsadeghi, with essays by Iwona Blazwick, Richard Cork, Tom Morton, photography by Robin Friend, is published by Thames & Hudson at £48 hardback.