He’s a man who knows how powerful a little imagination can be.
Artist David Mach says the UK definitely needs to encourage more artists to “start making stuff”.
“Boy, do we need to make things now, with Brexit, with the way our industry is, the way the world is going, we need to get a shift on.”
The Turner Prize nominee has spent the last two weeks working on a new installation for London’s Griffin Gallery, resurrecting a technique he mastered in the 90s.
He has arranged 20 tonnes of recycled newspaper to create a tsunami wave that crashes through the gallery wall – bringing with it driftwood and swallowing up the artist’s jeep.
It is a spectacular piece to see up close.
Now in his 60s, the Scottish sculptor jokes that the “very physical process” has been “excruciating”.
His pieces demand your attention, which is perhaps why he has remained a key figure on the international art scene for over three decades.
Mach sees art as an essential part of who we are.
“We’ve got a great country, this country is fab, I love it, we need to start making stuff, producing things and artists, designers and creatives they’re people that can help.”
He is a self-confessed material junkie and has become a master of making something from nothing.
In recent years he has used matchsticks and drawing pins to create his sculptures. He sets out to use materials that make people think. Last year, producing three giant crucifixion sculptures made out of coat hangers.
“I started making [sculptures] because I wanted to get out into the street, get away from the studio. It’s boring in there, and actually a lot of galleries and museums are boring, it’s like going to a church.
“I try to work and get myself into different places where you aren’t expecting see art.”
The Griffin Gallery’s head curator Becca Pelly-Fry says he is an important artist for the UK.
“His contemporaries – like Richard Wilson, Anthony Gormley – they’re doing very different things.
“[Mach] always wanted to make big sculptures that had that presence but out of everyday materials, with a bit less hubris I guess. Something that wouldn’t last forever, but that would always stick around in your mind. “
‘David Mach: Incoming’ is open to the public at the Griffin Gallery until 7 July.