It’s hard to say exactly when I gave up on academia. I had become unwell in December 2005. I gave up alcohol and art and since art was my subject, and alcohol was how I coped with work, that was a problem.
It had never occurred to me to do something else but things at the university gradually became more and more unpalatable. When I first began lecturing it seemed to be a good way to combine working for money and art making. The hours were flexible. Some of the students were talented or crazy in an interesting way and the people I worked with were nice.
But then they closed the art school and turned it into a school of creative industries. They canned the undergraduate visual arts programme and the bean counters began to make their influence felt. The writing was on the wall. And then other things happened.