Jennifer Higgie is an Australian writer, art critic and co-editor of the London-based contemporary art magazine, frieze.
What is your favourite surface?
It’s a tie between the coat of a horse or a perfect painting; a stone floor on bare feet; some skin; old clay pots; large flat stones by warm blue sea; petals; Mo’s fur.
In what weather do you think best and why?
On cold, dark, rainy days, because I am not tempted to go outside. I cannot think beyond swimming or drinking in hot climates.
Describe your favourite meal?
Spinach lasagna with a very simple, very fresh salad and cold dry wine. Laksa satisfies something very primal in me. When in need of solace nothing beats vegetarian sausages, almost burnt, with tomato ketchup, accompanied by an episode of Poirot. When I feel polluted, a bowl of miso soup; a plate of cold spinach, vegetable gyoza and tofu steak with teriyaki sauce.
What qualities do you most admire in an object?
That they do what they’re meant to do and look good while they do it.
What is your first olfactory memory?
A toss-up between my mother showing me how easily the skin came of mandarins, and then smelling the mandarin she peeled for me, and a kindergarten teacher throwing rose petals over us, and telling us to feel how soft they were and how good they smelled. Both of these incidents happened when I was around five, I guess.
What fictitious place would you most like to visit?
Any of the hotels frequented by Hercule Poirot.
What do you like the smell of?
Horses; the sea; L’air du desert Marocain by Tauer; a garlicy gratin in the oven; pizza; geraniums, daphne and roses; vetiver; petrol; a well-oiled saddle; the pot pourri from Santa Maria Novella; pipe tobacco; eucalyptus leaves on a hot day; some people.
Recount your last remembered dream?
It had to do with revolution and misunderstanding – everyday things. I have forgotten the details.
How should a table sound?
Like this: (picture me thumping the lovely old wooden table I am writing this on. It is not unlike a flea hitting an elephant).
What piece of art would you most like to live with?
Right now, any of Édouard Vuillard’s paintings before about 1900.
Which sense disturbs you most frequently?
Which sense would you miss the most?
What song or piece of music best expresses your mood today?
Today? A stand-off between Charles Trenet singing ‘Que Reste-T-il De Nos Amours’ or Jonathan Richman and the Modern Lovers’ ‘I’m in Love with the Modern World’. But a friend just sent me 'Collard Greens' by Schoolboy Q and it woke me up.
What is your favourite view from any window