Culture vulture

4th March 2005 at 00:00
Tate Modern is one big playground to Hattie Coppard

Best book ever

I'm in a book club and I love being with a group of people and knowing we're all reading the same book. I put aside a whole day before we meet to read the book we are going to discuss, which for me is the best way of experiencing a book. I loved Reading Lolita in Tehran by Azar Nafisi, a really fascinating account of a women's book group in Iran who read banned books by Western authors.

Best film ever

Touching the Void (about Joe Simpson and his brush with death while climbing the Andes ) is the most scary and beautiful film I have ever seen.

For me, it's about facing your ultimate nightmares and how human determination can defy all physical laws.

Best on show

Art exhibitions are my catalysts and conduits for ideas. The two most memorable visits were to the Tate Modern last year: the Donald Judd retrospective, an abstract sculptor of the 1960s and 1970s whose bold, simple shapes and exploration of colour are so appealing, and The Sun (by Olafur Eliasson in The Weather Project exhibition, pictured), which transformed the whole space of the Turbine Hall. I am interested in how behaviour is changed by environment. Our playground work is about that: encouraging people to believe in their own response to things so that play and creativity are linked. This was a really good example. People were lying down on the floor, creating patterns to see themselves in the mirrored ceiling.

Best event

A community opera, On London Fields, at the Hackney Empire (composer Matthew King, librettist Alasdair Middleton), which involved many community choirs, including a Georgian choir that my sister and brother belong to. It happened just before Christmas, so it felt like a sort of school concert for grown-ups, which made up for the fact that it was the first year I hadn't been to a school concert at Christmas because my children have grown up.

Hattie Coppard, 48, is a sculptor, who works with her brother and husband to make public art. Their company, Snug and Outdoors, designs experimental children's playgrounds and has won a Hackney Design Award for its work on Daubeney primary, Hackney. She was talking to Elaine Williams

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