Royal Academy of Arts, Piccadilly

What three words would you use to describe what troubled you during your adolescence?

Moving, food, and clothes.

As in moving house?

Yeah, we moved a lot because of my dad's job. Like once every two years we'd take off to a different place. Making friends was impossible - as soon as I was settling down somewhere we'd be off to another part of the country. Eventually I gave up, which is depressing to think about and probably why I'm so confrontation now.

You still expect people to come and go out of your life rapidly?

But not just that, I don't trust people. It's a coping mechanism but people are so expendable to me. You know when people break up or fall out of friendships and they can move on after a sob? It's terrifying for me. That person knows so much about you, but not just you, an old version of you. You can't do anything to change their perception of you after that, and they know all your secrets. If you became famous they have so many stories that they can use against you. I don't know... it's possible to be both kind and untrusting, and that's how I want to come across.

Do you wish you could be trusting and happy?

Maybe. Then I wouldn't be me though.

But to have the ability to be less hesitant to start friendships?

A year ago I would've said yes. Now I don't know. I like being mysterious and distant, and it's how I'm comfortable living. And it's not like I'm not closed off to the world. It would be hell having no one to talk to - I suppose that's what made me like this in the first place (chuckles).

Why did you choose the word 'food'?

We weren't well off and it was... yeah, it was embarrassing. Here comes the poverty child joining a new school for the hundredth time with a broken lunch box and uniform from the last school. First impressions couldn't be worse. Now I wouldn't care about embarrassment in front of adults, but a cafeteria full of 16 year old girls? Still terrifies me. Imagine me at age 12 walking into a school with a red blazer on and there's a hundred teens around me with navy uniform. Like a sore thumb.

So lunch time was a fear for you?

All of school was. But in lessons you didn't have freedom and I could work silently. I never knew where to go at lunch, but I skipped the cafeteria all the time. There was one school that I only went into the lunch-hall twice. And I was there for over a year.

You'd have rather gone hungry than face embarrassment.

No, I ate in the library usually. As I said, we didn't have a lot of money so I wasn't allowed school dinners. 

I had similar actually. I'd always ask people to give me their leftovers or buy me things. (Chuckles) Like a raccoon.

Yeah! This one school I went to when I was 16 had a slushie machine, which in hindsight is incredible in itself. But my friends knew to give me the remnants of theirs.

Jamie Oliver would have a fit. When you said clothes, did you have uniform in mind?

Partly yeah, but all clothes. Again, I wasn't allowed expensive clothes... I should note I don't blame my parents for this. They worked hard with low paying jobs and had a lot of children to feed and clothe. But non-uniform days were worse than uniform days. Pay £2 to be teased for wearing Tesco's clothes? What a joke. I'd rather spend that £2 on a meal that didn't resemble war rations. I'd never tell my parents about those days and face the embarrassment of being grouped with the other kids who 'forgot'. I remember wishing I could disappear. The worst was when Hollister and Superdry were big. It felt like everyone had the same Superdry jacket apart from me. You know the one?

Like a black puffer jacket with a small logo?

See? Everyone had one! I don't know how they all afforded them, they were like £100. But yeah, I think school uniform is a good idea overall. It stops bullying to an extent. I would've done anything for one of those jackets though. I didn't even like them, but they were the best protection from teasing.

Finally, what would be the soundtrack to your childhood?

Exit Music (For A Film) - Radiohead

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