The award-winning British artist, who loves to fly with a Jellycat called Mittini and send home postcards to friends, on her world of travel


How often do you travel in a year and to which parts of the world?

I travel for seven to eight months of the year, and my destinations vary depending on what exhibitions I have. But I have homes in Miami, New York and the South of France, so I spend time in all of those places.

What do you always take with you?
My telephone, and a small Jellycat [top right] that goes by the name of Mittini.

On a plane, do you rest or work?
I often take the BA flight from London City Airport that enables you to make phone calls on WiFi, so sometimes I work for a few hours. But I love to watch The Comedy Channel. Last time I flew to New York the stewardesses told me that they were desperate to know what I was watching because I was laughing so much.

What are your must-have carry-on items?
A small bottle of Vivienne Westwood perfume, and something to read.

What do you like to bring home with you?
I like to carry as little as possible, so I rarely do any shopping and if I do I like to FedEx it back. But one of my favourite things is to send postcards from wherever I go.

How does travel influence your work?
I'm really busy in London and crazy with back-to-back meetings, so I find that when I travel it gives me time to think and have some perspective on my life.

What is on your iPod when you are away?
Lee Hazlewood, Leonard Cohen, David Bowie, Jeff Beck and Neil Young.

What books do you take?
At the moment I'm reading Patricia Highsmith's Strangers on a Train. I always take novels.

What is your dream holiday?
To be in the mountains on the edge of a lake, totally surrounded by nature in a really beautiful cabin. It's summer and I'm not alone.

What was your most magical recent trip?
I don't often have the chance to go on holidays. My last real big holiday was when my friend [and MO Fan] Sir David Tang invited me to Thailand for 10 days, but that was a few years ago. My most recent magical trip was looking at grottoes in Capri.

What do you like most about Mandarin Oriental hotels?
They are efficient and luxurious.

What is most important to you when staying at a hotel and why?
Room service – because I often travel alone, I often eat in my room.

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