Jamie McCartney is the artist behind Brighton Body Casting, he enjoys Christmas but doesn’t make too much fuss about all the preparation that leads up to it. He describes himself as having “an attitude of gratitude” and says that he lives in the moment.
Tell us about what you do? I’m the artist behind Brighton Body Casting – the UK’s top life casting sculpture studio. We make casts of everything from dog’s paws and baby’s feet to whole bodie, which are used as fountains. It’s kinda fun. I also make sculptures and experimental photos that I sell through galleries around the world. I guess I’m famous for my 8 metre long wall sculpture The Great Wall of Vagina, but don’t hold it against me. It’s really a good thing!
What inspired you to do what you do? I trained as a sculptor but learned to do body casting whilst working on props in the film business for ten years, making casts of people like jackie Chan. I realised there was a gap in the market to make life casts for the public. The rest, as they say, is history.
What can you tell us about yourself? Well my business card says “Artist * Alchemist * Rascal” That probably says all you need to know.
Are you born and bred Brightonian? I’m what I call ‘a recovering Londoner’, but my gran was in Brighton so I’ve known it all my life. Put it this way – I’ve been fishing on the marina since before they built it!
What do you like about living in Brighton? So many things! Half your horizon being sea and sky is good for the head. It’s like being on holiday every day. I can walk or cycle everywhere. It’s chock full of creative, crazy people and there is always something going on. If you are tired of Brighton you are tired of life. I tired of London years ago.
Favourite place in Brighton? That’s seasonal! Under the West Pier in a kayak in the summer, looking back at Brighton from the sea. The Pavilion’s ice rink in the winter.
Where do you go on Xmas eve? Family. It’s all about family and taking a holiday from my reprobate friends. This year we’re descending on my stepsister’s near Barcombe Mills.
How do you celebrate Christmas? I’m not a traditionalist and I always work right up to close of play on Christmas Eve so I never have time to prepare anything. That’s a godsend. People worry so much and make such a meal of it. Me, I just enjoy the time off and other people’s booze.
Favourite xmas movie? Definitely ‘Bad Santa’. Billy Bob Thornton doing what he does best! The best!
Best Christmas present? A puppy when I was a kid.
Worst Christmas present? No such thing! I have an attitude of gratitude.
Are you making a New Year’s resolution? I have learned that the best laid plans of mice and men won’t change this leopard’s spots. So….. no! Maybe not mixing my metaphors?
How do you celebrate New Year’s? Friends! It’s all about friends and fizz at midnight. For me New Year’s Day is the big thing. I like to wake up hangover free, and that takes some resolve and planning I can tell you. I go for a long walk and think about the year behind and the year ahead. It’s my annual ritual. The beach is deserted besides a few like minded souls and desperate doggies. It’s a great time to imagine.
Do you believe in Santa? If Santa doesn’t exist it would have been necessary for us to invent him.