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David Wigglesworth reveals his love of punk TV, pre-emo attitude and painter John Martin

Grey London ECD shares his creative inspirations

By Olivia Atkins

TV show: Jackass

As a kid, I grew up on TV. It was my mate, my mentor and my best (worst) influence. Simpsons, MTV 2, Fresh Prince, Malcolm in the Middle and of course, Jackass. When my malleable young mind first saw this show, it was blown. It was my first exposure to Spike Jonze's craft and it was an eye opener in many more ways. The show felt like performance art. It was obviously chaotic and punky but I was obsessed with the ideas that went behind the pranks. They were never just stupid for stupid's sake (well not always). There were so many wild ideas that were just really great ideas. It really inspired creative thinking in my dumb young mind before I ever even knew what it was to be a creative. Like, Jonny Knoxville renting a car for the day, taking it to a destruction derby then bringing it back absolutely annihilated! The gang became my heroes, much to my parents' dismay.

Painter: John Martin

My mum is an artist, and when I was growing up she was a single mum working two jobs while going through art school. This meant I was surrounded by a lot of fine art, mostly against my behest.

As a kid, it never caught my attention regardless of how much my mum pushed it onto me. But the first time it grabbed me and forced me to pay attention was when she showed me English Romantic painter, John Martin. To that point, my ignorant brain judged all fine art as old and wanky - but he changed that instantly. The scale of his epic, apocalyptic work made you feel like a tiny speck in the universe. It was equally terrifying and beautiful.

Music/subculture: Pre 'emo' emo

Emo is such a loaded term. But before it was died black sweep over fringes, stud belts and jeans tighter than a ducks arse, it was something special. Its humble roots began as an evolution of Hardcore (brutal, macho rock). As a kid I loved the aggression of heavy music, it was a release it was explosive, it felt like it had edge. But, suddenly, heavy bands like Jawbreaker emerged adding vulnerability and emotion to the brutality and it created a wild juxtaposition that just felt completely at odds with the one dimensional machismo that came before. It blew my mind (common theme here, my young mind was easily blown!) But it really opened my eyes to how much impact incongruity can add to art. A lot of impressionable people like me obviously also felt the same and as all good things, it became mega mainstream and turned into a stinky garbage fire.


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