At Home With… Timothy Clerkin

Art & Culture

In this feature we ask an artist to bring us “Through The Keyhole” of their personal living space and let us what it’s like at ‘Chez Artist’…

Last week the right honourable Timothy Clerkin graced us with his third contribution to Ransom Note Records in the form of UnBorn, another glimpse into his growing arsenal of acid anthems. 2018 saw him kickstart his own Insult To Injury imprint which has become a home for a host of rave, hardcore and acid musings from the likes of Anna Lann, Type 303 and most recently Apollo View. 

Having recently upped sticks and moved over to Amsterdam, Timothy has begun to transition into his new surroundings, testing out his ropey Dutch on the locals and trying to not fall off his bicycle. Although he's pretty much part of the furniture here at R$N HQ, we wanted to get an insight into his real furniture, in his real home.

Share with us your favourite recipe. What is the go to meal or perfect romantic fine-dining experience for yourself? Any tips for our readers?

I’m not the best cook in the world to be honest, as I’m sure everyone in the R$N office can attest. However, I do make a mean chili con carne. And supermarket pizza. I’m very, very good at that. The romance lays in the topping you choose…

What’s your favourite room in your home and why?

The living room I guess, it’s the largest room and it gets so much light. Plus most of my guitars and organ are in there, for when I need a break from techno. And there’s my leather La-Z-Boy reclining chair, which is the comfiest thing in the world. Also the vintage bar and booze globe drinks cabinet, which do not require validation.

What’s in your fridge right now?

Not much: two cartons of oat milk, some chilis, half a carton of custard, half of jar of capers, some rosemary, mayonnaise, mustard and a jar of sun dried tomato oil. 

How would you describe the decor in your home?

A mish-mash of decades from 20’s art deco up to 70’s chic. It’s all over the shop really, but as is my approach to most things, including music – to make an incredibly tenuous connection. I have trouble sticking to one thing.

Are you handy at DIY or do you get someone in?

I do it myself, to an utterly awful standard, but always do it myself. My next project is drilling some industrial piping to the wall to use as clothes rails.

What do you eat for breakfast?

I’m trying to move away from cigarettes and coffee and towards yoga and porridge.

Do you have a nutri-bullet? If so, any health boosting juices you would recommend?

Not currently, but I’m interested in getting one so I can try out Huel.. Going running first thing on an empty stomach has ended very badly indeed for me a few times, so I want to give that a go. Please note; other powdered foods are available.

Who is your neighbour? What do they do? If you’ve not talked to them… maybe now would be a good opportunity to.

There are two ladies that live in the apartments upstairs, one doesn’t speak a word of English and the other’s is very limited, so I currently have no idea. I’m learning Dutch though, so hopefully the conversation will begin to flow shortly and move beyond smiling enthusiastically.

Have you ever locked yourself out? What did you do?

Not yet in Amsterdam, though when I lived in Hackney I did a few times. Fortuitously, my friend and musical collaborator Natalie Reiss lived in the flat above me, so I usually just hung out at her place drinking tea until someone could rescue me.

Bath or shower?

Shower. Baths make me overheat and feel quite ill. I’ve never understood them.

Has your neighbour ever seen you naked, accidentally or on purpose?

Haha, neither of my current neighbours, no. Hackney neighbours though, yes, repeatedly and on purpose.

It’s a lazy evening, no time for cooking. What’s your takeaway option? Who do you use? Do they know you and expect the usual order from you?

Well as I’ve only just moved here, I’m still trying out all the local options, but there’s a great Turkish place downstairs and a rather delightful cafe/art gallery just around the corner. Requisite levels of wanky-ness; achieved.

Do you eat your dinner at the table or on your lap?

At the table, unless I’m hungover, in which case, in bed.

Do you have a local shop or are you a supermarket whore like the rest of us?

Absolute supermarket whore. There’s one right opposite my flat, so it’s convenience over ideology every time now.

Is there a piece of art or ornament that holds particularly fond memories for you, from childhood or travels perhaps?

Loads really, but I guess my favourite is my 18th century print of Hogarth’s Midnight Modern Conversation. I’ve also got a couple of smaller prints from the same period, of his The Enraged Musician and The Cock Fight. It’s easy to spend hours looking at them, there’s always something new to see. 

Animals. We love cats here at R$N. Well, we just love people with pets. Is there a special furry/feathered/ scaly creature in your life, tell us a little about them?

No, with living on the first floor and being away a lot, I don’t think it’d be particularly responsible to have a pet. I will have a dog at some point though, possibly in retirement.

Are you a messy person? What’s the worst state your home has been left in after a party?

I’m dirty, but not messy! To the naked eye, everything will look clean-ish and neatly tidied, but I would never, ever hoover under the bed. Out of sight, out of mind. Had some spectacular parties that have rendered many a rental property uninhabitable for a good length of time. Those days are, fortunately, behind me though. Now I prefer to destroy other people's houses.

What’s your most annoying habit as a room mate if indeed you do have a room mate?

Listening to techno I imagine.

What’s the worst room-mate you’ve ever had?

Crikey, I think I’ve been quite lucky over the years, never had a ‘bad’ one I don’t think. I mean, obviously I’ve lived with some terrible people, they just so happened to be my kind of terrible.

Is there a view from your window, balcony, front door, terrace? Who do you look for coming along the street? 

The balcony is at the back of the apartment and looks out onto trees. Bos En Lommer translates to forest and shade, which I rather like. It’s full of nature and the dawn chorus can be a little too audible sometimes, but it’s quite beautiful for an inner city flat. Quite the departure from the front of the apartment, which is a busy road and you can genuinely see a ‘coffee shop’ from the window, for that quintessential Amsterdam experience.

Pick 6 dinner party guests from history, real or fictional to invite to your home?

Rick Sanchez for a healthy dose of nihilism and interdimensional travel, Bridget Christie for comic relief, Christopher Hitchens for interesting debate, a young Stephen Fry, Theresa May so I could poison her and Terry Hall as he seems like a very, very funny bloke.

Where do you listen to music in the home and what’s the set up?

Upstairs in the studio is where serious, critical listening is done on studio monitors. In the flat, I just have some shitty usb speakers. A few people have really berated me for this over the years, but I don’t want to hear things perfectly while I’m trying to relax or just go about normal life, it’s a massive distraction – I definitely wouldn’t be able to help myself! Better for me just not to be tempted.

What would you change about your home?

I’d like to fit a waterslide. Or functioning replica of the Cheers bar, with Ted Danson and Woody Harrelson employed, full time. The extravagant, crippling ongoing cost of operating it would be greatly outweighed by the immense joy it would bring me.

Follow Timothy Clerkin. Grab your copy of Unborn.