My style icon is Jack Lenor Larsen, the man behind Larsen textiles. He is just the coolest; he has impeccable style, topped off with amazing hats. He once gave me a tie he designed that was made here in Ireland in the 1960s.
The last item of clothing I added to my wardrobe was a classic white Prada shirt that I picked up in Harrods. I had to fly to London at the last minute and didn’t have time to pack. Prada stretch poplin shirt, £335; harrods.com.
The best book I’ve read in the past year is Watermark, the poet Joseph Brodsky’s essay on Venice. I’ve been working on a project for next year’s Biennale and this small book transforms how you see and experience the city.
The one artist whose work I would collect if I could is impossible to choose, but two I’d begin with are Jacob Hashimoto, because his kites have an incredible freedom of expression and beauty, and the 19th-century landscape painter Caspar David Friedrich. I love the way his paintings invite the viewer to stand inside them with the subjects and look into the land or seascape.
If I didn’t live in Kinsale, the city I would live in is Milan. I used to have a small apartment there and I enjoyed how easy it was to discover new things through exhibitions and performances. Finding Piccolo Teatro, Milan’s first public theatre, was a highlight of that time. I still visit the city regularly and always drop into the Nilufar gallery where I know I’ll find something interesting from the past. The men’s clothing store Larusmiani is another favourite: the downstairs section is filled with every accessory a man could ever need. Museo Bagatti Valsecchi is fascinating too: a historic-house museum, it’s full of 15th- and 16th-century paintings and decorative objects. Larusmiani, Via Montenapoleone 7, 20121 (+3902-7600 6957; larusmiani.it). Museo Bagatti Valsecchi, Via Gesù 5, 20121 (+3902-7600 6132; museobagattivalsecchi.org). Nilufar, Via della Spiga 32, 20121 (nilufar.com). Piccolo Teatro, Via Rovello 2, 20121 (+3902-4241 1889; piccoloteatro.org).
The last music I downloaded or bought was so long ago I can’t remember. I don’t do downloads, and although I have a turntable, I don’t often go record shopping.
The best gift I’ve received recently was a box of Alphonso mangoes from the film producer and designer Ambika Hinduja Macker, after I installed a sculpture for her in India. It wasn’t a surprise – there’s a mango exchange whenever and wherever we meet. We joke that they are our currency.
The best souvenir I’ve brought home recently is a tin tea caddy from Kaikado in Kyoto. It’s an old family workshop that is committed to its craft and is inventing new ways for people to use what is a very traditional Japanese household object. From £110; kaikado.jp.
An indulgence I would never forgo is time for a proper meal. I have dinner with a friend on Wednesdays, and twice a week a local chef, Una Crosbie, comes and cooks lunch, perhaps a traditional fish pie, for me and my team. It’s hard to imagine life without this shared quality time during our working days. inhousecatering.ie.
The person I rely on for personal grooming is my local hairdresser Fintan Lynch. Grooming is quite low on my list of priorities, but when I have to run to an exhibition opening, I call him. fintanlynchhair.com.
If I weren’t doing what I do, I would be either an archaeologist – because I enjoy discovering new things and understanding how they inform today – or a forester. I’ve done a little bit of tree planting and I find seeing trees come into leaf each spring very fulfilling.