I think this is motivated as much by curiosity as anything else, although there are things on these shelves I’ve had since I was four or five years old! A lot of them are found, some are bought and they’re not necessarily easy to distinguish between. There’s a bit of memory, a bit of autism and a few samples of work.
I’ve always been impressed by architects offices which have material libraries and some things in my collection are bits of inspiration, or sources for ideas about how you might begin to put things together. On the shelves, there’s obviously a division between domestic and wild and also marine and land-based, with minerals on the right and organic stuff on the left and on the far right it’s much more ethnographic, with heavier ones on the bottom.
It’s not systematic; although I did used to collect stamps when I was a boy. The problem with collections’ is that once you start, you eventually want to finish them off; you want to get them collected. I feel for collectors because they really can’t control their world. I think the reason for collecting is having a bit of the world that you can control.