Writing on and for art in the North East

This first roundtable discussion for the new Journal section tackles the subject of writing itself. What place does writing have in the context of the visual arts? Can a London-centric art press adequately represent the North East? And how could a more prominent and better-supported writing community help not only individuals but institutions too — and the profile of the region?

We discuss this and more with writer and curator George Vasey, Lauren Velvick (Editor, Corridor8), Emma Dean (Curator, Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art) and Tess Denman-Cleaver (Senior Programme Manager, Young People & Communities at New Writing North).

Adam Pugh, Art Network North East: Thanks very much for joining this discussion. I’d like us to try to bring together some sort of an appraisal of what and where critical writing around art is in the region, with thoughts for possible routes forward to develop it further. To start, perhaps we could consider what we mean when we talk about critical writing? For me, it’s commissioned texts, reviews, academic writing — but is there anything I’m missing, as far as you’re concerned?

Tess Denman-Cleaver: I definitely don’t feel that I am in a position to offer any sort of appraisal of writing (of any kind) in the region. But as far as your question regarding what we mean by ‘critical writing’ about art, I would be interested in thinking about how we can be critical about writing about or in relation to art as a region / network / community, rather than thinking about ‘critical writing’ as a genre or form in and of itself. 

George Vasey: When I talk to students there is often a misconception that critical means negative. I think of criticality in the broadest terms; it’s essentially discourse around the work. We need more criticality in society full stop: less opinion and more analysis. 

I agree with Tess, one key aspect of contemporary writing is that it often overlaps with art-making. Artists write poetry, poets make films, curators are writing reviews. These positions are fluid. This lack of distance creates problems but it can also create opportunity. I think one thing we lack in a regional context is strong editorial support for people to grow as writers. I benefited from a significant amount of editorial feedback and it improved my writing. I often support writers and artists informally with editorial feedback because I know how crucial it is.

Emma Dean: There is definitely a fluidity. Artists and writers (and/or artist-writers) challenge the discourses and systems in which we operate, but in contemporary art writing there are also artworld agendas to navigate.

AP: Those are interesting positions, and I think helpful for a region-wide perspective. I am keen to think about the relationship between art-making and its criticism and critical reception — and whether, firstly, there is a lack, to some extent, of ‘criticality’ in the region; and secondly, whether there is a link between a greater sense of criticality and a flourishing, or better-supported visual arts community. By thinking less about ‘critical writing’ as a genre you’re perhaps allowing us to think more broadly about the place of writing more generally. How might writing help art and art help writing?

TDC: Yes, I think that is what I was getting at — that a criticality in relation to how writing about art supports art practice in the region might lead to a more ‘helpful’ relationship between the two. But I think it’s problematic to suggest a lack of criticality before defining the critical lens this judgement call is made through. I certainly don’t feel knowledgeable enough about the modes of art making and criticality that underpin various networks / communities of artists in the region, which should be supported to generate their own value systems. However, I do think I have some understanding of what bad writing is, whether it’s about art or not, and I think a critical discussion about that could support ‘better’ critical writing around art, and, in turn, a better supported visual arts community. 

GV: Writing on art can take many different forms and ultimately, for me, it’s about bringing a compelling perspective to the work. I think writing is undervalued in the artworld. As a writer, I’ve often been brought into the process late on and offered poor fees. I’m constantly going back to galleries and museums challenging fees. It’s very reactive. Writing isn’t just a responsive medium, it can inform discussion as curatorial work does. Generally, I think writers should be brought into the process much earlier. 

ED: I agree with George here that writing is hugely undervalued. I know of writers and editors who have been offered very poor pay, or one off payments that do not reflect the time and commitment required to write a text.

AP: Yes, absolutely: the structural conditions around freelance writing are terrible, and there aren’t many who can make a career exclusively out of writing. Tess, to return to your point, I think criticality, and any perceived lack of it, might be measured to some extent by the presence of writers in the region actively engaged in discourse with / around the visual arts – specifically outside of the academy, because while academic writing around art, and academics who happen to write about and around art (the latter which is perhaps more immediate here) is relevant, I’m more concerned about, firstly, the opportunities to sustain a career as a writer; and secondly, the opportunities to develop a practice as a writer. I’d also like to consider this ‘criticality’ in terms of the visibility of voices from the North East across everything from, for instance, commissioned texts for institutions or artists to the more prosaic jobs of press previews and reviews. Understanding bad writing is very important! But good or bad, are the opportunities here, firstly?

TDC: So we are talking about writing about art that is not generated by the artist / arts community itself or the academy. Which I would agree is lacking in the North East – apologies if that is a long winded way of working out what ‘critical writing’ is at the start of this conversation! I would argue that the opportunities don’t exist for people to develop this form of critical writing about art in the North East. 

GV: There is a lack of opportunity at every level; getting paid for your first feature and then taking a step up into the national and international press. Editorial support is critical as is mentorship and coaching. I spent years trying to get published, writing emails and sending off samples and getting ignored by editors! When I got the first positive response I was elated! 

Lauren Velvick: On the subject of opportunities, payment and coaching, I agree these are essential parts of the conversation, and it’s been interesting having this discussion around how much ‘pastoral’ support to offer and how ‘cut-throat’ to be as a magazine and as editors. 

Recently at Corridor8 we’ve come to an uneasy but productive balance whereby if we want there to be more skilled writers for us to commission, and for more of them not to be white and middle or upper-middle class in the North East and the North of England more widely, we need to have a holistic approach. This includes acknowledging the particular stresses of being ‘edited’ for the first time, likely alongside other work and as an inexperienced person, potentially with nobody to compare experiences with. So with some writers we’re aiming to coach them through their first few pieces with patience and kindness, and then build up to expecting more precision of analysis from more experienced writers. But everyone gets paid the same and it balances out in terms of editorial time. 

It’s also worth acknowledging that having a PhD doesn’t necessarily mean someone can toss off a piece of critical writing that’s clear and accessible enough for a general audience, so there’s editing to be done any which way. 

ED: I agree that mentoring and coaching are key to early professional development, especially when a writer is just leaving college or starting out. But many emerging writers will not be able to afford this or may not be in the right networks to be able to connect with such opportunities. We need more bursaries or a fee structure that could support this. I’ve seen mentoring and residencies in prestigious galleries that are unpaid.

LV: To speak to the question of criticality or lack thereof, taking into account that this doesn’t just mean ‘having a negative opinion’, we’ve been having this discussion a lot at Corridor8 and have started trying to distinguish between art/exhibitions/programmes that are likely to only be covered by us and those that are already part of a wider network or conversation, because if things aren’t even getting the ‘listings’ attention to begin with that’s a very different environment to be critiquing them within. Does that resonate with anyone else’s experience?

AP: That’s a strategy that sounds as though it’s sensitive and receptive to the needs of the region. I wonder, as an online platform for writing, how you balance those region-specific priorities with the need to exist alongside national – i.e. London-based – peers. Do you find that the writing you publish occupies a space that can project North-based writers and writing about North-based activity to a national audience?

LV: According to analytics about 30% of our readers are London-based, but yeah, we’re trying to acknowledge the extreme London-centricity of the arts in this country rather than pretending it isn’t the case, I suppose — having a somewhat pastoral approach rather than spartan, given the gaps in funding and how, for example, in some places there’s one arts centre serving a huge area and providing preventative mental health care.

But then also trying to provide writers with opportunities to explore their own criticality, in their own context, with the backing of us as an organisation.

TDC: The way you describe programme context here, Lauren, has something to do with what I was trying to get at with value judgements and the critical lens that is being employed — the value systems and agendas of a single not-for-profit arts centre serving a socio-economically disadvantaged area are different from those of a London-based commercial gallery (for example), though that’s not to say they don’t both deserve critical attention. But that might be because I am very much speaking from a ‘community engagement’ perspective (for want of a better label). 

LV: Yeah exactly, it’s really tricky, personally I’ve found that when you’re dealing with people from an art school or visual art gallery background they can be more comfortable with criticism than those from a cultural producer / events background, perhaps just because the former are used to things like crits and the latter assume they’re getting a PR fluff piece, and anything remotely critical is totally damning?

TDC: I can imagine that is difficult to navigate, but I think much of the North East arts scene do come out of art school… 

GV: I think Corridor8 offers an important platform as it builds relationships with organisations as much as writers. It’s almost impossible to compete with the large London organisations with their PR consultants and massive marketing budgets. Essentially, most press is bought in some way. I think the question is about how we do things differently. How can we incubate alternate forms of experimental critical writing and art-making? How do we create pathways for new writers and cultivate more sustainable opportunities for writing? I don’t have the answers to these questions. I think it’s a case of implementing concrete opportunities that offer targeted support. 

AP: For me this is partly why a region-wide take on this is useful. Could we start to influence the way art institutions, in particular, approach writing and relationships with writers? Lauren, to go back to your point, I’d hope that North East-based writers, in and of the region, might be more likely to be accepted in terms of their critical judgement — though your observation about the playground illustrates the closeness of many of these relationships when they approach a local or even regional level. I’d like us to think about something simple: what do writers need? Development, surely; employment, definitely; opportunities for collaboration and community? Relationships with other writers?

GV: All of it: money, time, support, dialogue, a space to publish. I think the question of AI is interesting as I think we’ll see a hollowing out of journalism quite quickly. The German newspaper BILD is laying off 250 staff members and integrating AI into its editorial offer. I think this will be a big trend in the next few years. Having said that, I think we’ll see a counter-trend: a turn towards the bespoke, grassroots forms of journalism. I think we’ll see flourishing on the margins. The question is how do people support this? I think what the writer Dan Fox is doing is interesting. He has a newsletter that you can subscribe to for a fee. The White Pube have their Patreon scheme. A lot of my recent commissions have come from more embedded work with organisations, so it’s not such a reactive situation, it’s a longer dialogue between a writer, artist, community etc. I’d love to see more of this. 

AP: If the prospects of AI are scary, the more embedded work you describe sounds promising, and exactly how organisations could and should engage with writers more widely, I’d argue. How common is this as a proposition, though? Do you find that there’s a growing tendency for organisations to work in this way, or is it too early to tell? 

GV: We’re just at the start of the AI revolution. I think it will impact journalism quicker than the cultural sector per se but it will have an impact no doubt. I was recently on a panel for something and about 20% of the applications had something to do with AI so it’s definitely of interest to artists and anything that saves organisations money will be taken up. 

I think from this vantage point It’s really crucial to go back to first principles: why is writing important? It’s not just about putting nice sentences together — it’s about contesting value and finding meaning; being critical. I think the role of writing and editing becomes more crucial because we have to fact-check and sense-check what is coming out of AI. Also, AI is just harvesting a huge amount of copy-righted content so this is another form of extraction for which writers won’t be paid — how do we grapple with this? I think this is the next big cultural question. 

LV: To quickly speak to the point about AI, I do think that the sorts of articles an AI could generate at this point and in the near future are of a different order than we’re speaking about here. When in editing mode (rather than writing mode) I find that often people just need a bit of teasing-out to get at interesting points they can’t quite express without an editorial conversation. It’s just that this editorial approach takes time (and preferably remuneration too.)

I wonder if there’s something as well about demonstrating the value of a dialogue around arts practices in and of itself, so, it’s not that getting a ‘bad review’ is a detriment to progressing beyond the North East, but rather an opportunity to be in dialogue with the writer; have they misinterpreted? Have you failed to communicate what you hoped to as an artist? But that takes publications with regular circulation and letters pages to facilitate…

AP: Yes, exactly! It’s about exchange, and with more exchange – more writing on and about artists’ work by writers who are also invested in the region and those artists’ careers on a longer-term basis – would come a better understanding of the place of critical writing. So one solution would be greater volume, greater exchange, but how to get to that point?

TDC: It sounds like you have identified the gap in the market, Adam. I guess the next question is, why doesn’t that exist here? And if it did, what would it look like in the North East? 

ED: Perhaps there is a way we could create a forum for writers to give feedback on their experiences of working in the region to understand more about how we could support the writing community? At Baltic, we have recently worked with artists in this way to shape our Artists’ Development Programme.

AP: That sounds like a good first step. In order to know how to proceed, we’d need to know who’s out there, how they work and what their needs are, alongside an appraisal of the challenges as they see them. Beyond this, we’d have to be sure we could deliver something, and for that I’d be inclined to say that it’s costly to set up and run the frameworks necessary, but knowing what writers get paid, perhaps it’s not that! It’s surely not for want of volume of activity – there’s plenty going on here – but I wonder if it is partly mired in thinking about reproducing a model which, while it works in London (and pretty much nowhere else), when something different might better suit the North East. Lauren, Corridor8 changed the way it works with writers not too long ago. Could you say something about that?

LV: Yeah, from working at institutions across the North us editors at Corridor8 knew that to get a review in a publication like Frieze or Art Monthly you’d have to pay for a writer to come up, including hotel room and dinner sometimes, and that this part of the marketing budget could instead go towards developing the talents of local writers. It’s difficult to explain to people who don’t know that background, but I guess it’s making transparent something that’s generally been very opaque? 

AP: So where before the fee you offer the writer for covering a show, for instance, was drawn from advertising or funding revenue, it now comes from the money arts organisations pay you for coverage. That’s a much more direct model, which is interesting. I suppose the obvious worry is that this might encourage those organisations to see something more straightforwardly transactional such as this as a means to lever ‘good’ press — in other words, that they’re in control of the writer’s opinion. The other possibility is that with this level of transparency, as you say, you’re making the symbiosis between writers and organisations more visible, and that this could help to raise the perceived value of writing in general. What has working in this new way taught you?

LV: To answer the point about organisations seeing the C8 commissioning model as a transaction for guaranteed good press, yeah, they might see it this way, but they don’t get a guaranteed good review and just have to suck it up! We partly introduced the model as a protest because in our current economic context it isn’t possible to sell enough magazines to fund a magazine, it just isn’t, let alone a contemporary art magazine in the North of England. Now I see it as a vehicle through which to challenge the status quo in various ways. 

We have had some instances of organisations ghosting us when we won’t make the changes they ask for – after having paid us already, in which case we pay the writer and shrug or publish anyway depending on the situation. For the most part it works well to say the organisation can fact-check but editors have final say, and we’ll always defend a writer on their interpretation and opinions based on what has been made available to them.

AP: It sounds as though you have a robust structure in place — and it’s great to hear that the model is centred around the writer and the integrity of their interpretation. Tess, to go back to writer development, could I ask you about this from the perspective of New Writing North — specifically the status of this area of writing. How does, or how might a regional literature development agency work with or help to develop this part of the sector, if we can call it that? I imagine it’s a tough call as it’s often entwined with commercial activity, is sometimes hermetic in terms of the communities that it serves, etc. But do you see a role for New Writing North in terms of this type of writing and these types of writers?

TDC: I can definitely see a role for New Writing North here, and a possibility to better integrate the contemporary arts networks and literature community in the region. On an individual level, there are obviously people who span both, but I would say that there is not a great deal of dialogue between visual artists and writers who inhabit a more literary context in the region – which maybe relates to the idea of critical writing serving a hermetic artistic community. 

In general, New Writing North defines writing very broadly – to include prose fiction, non-fiction, screen writers, songwriters… and supports people into other literature industry roles, but (to my knowledge) hasn’t specifically or particularly considered critical writing about art within its development programmes for writers. I would be really interested in what that might look like, and the potential for better dialogue between art practice and writing to also support the development of high quality experimental writing, but maybe that’s off topic for what we are here to discuss. 

AP: No, not at all: I think you’ve opened up a really key point, which is that one quality of this type of writing – that we may or may not call ‘critical writing’ – is that it can serve to bridge and bring together other forms: creative writing by ‘writers’ and by artists, experimental practice, as you say, alongside the ‘jobbing’ (and I really don’t mean that pejoratively) critical writing that forms freelance reviewing and articles for the art press. 

I’m very glad you think there may be a role for New Writing North here, and what I also take from what you say is that writers stand to learn from each other: I’d be surprised if literary and critical writers, in a room together, didn’t. It would also help to tackle any hermeticism, perceived or otherwise. I suppose it’s a question of where the models might lie for this.

Visual arts institutions are also key to this conversation — they’ll need to be invested in supporting writers for any further development to work. The very basic question for now is: where are the writers? It seems to me there’s a job in mapping current activity and identifying gaps; also an understanding of how people become ‘critical writers’, and to think of ways to support those routes. How might we map this out?

GV: It would be a good piece of work. My feeling is that a lot of people write but they wouldn’t define their writing as ‘critical.’ At New Contemporaries, where I work as a trustee, we’ve grown our offer for early-career writers and artists who write; developing writing residencies, workshops, opportunities and more. This has certainly been a growth area for the organisation over the last five years, and this has been in response to feedback from selected artists. They want more dialogue and writing around the work, something a bit more involved than fire emoji on Instagram! 

LV: Thinking about the role of New Writing North, I thought it might be worth bringing up the interesting (to me) world of artists novels and experimental writing in book form. I really like what publishers like MA BIBLIOTHÈQUE and JOAN, for example, put out, and as a reader and consumer of writing I experience a continuum between their stuff and the more quickfire reviewing that magazines publish. 

AP: I think that to understand this work as existing on a continuum is exactly right. George, how do you feel about Lauren’s proposal that we think of it in that way? Is it helpful to try to expand the field (or if the field is already expanded, at least to remind others that it is)? Do you find that you get the opportunity, or might get the opportunity, to write in this way — and if so, what might it bring that shorter-form work doesn’t?

GV: I like Joan. It reminds me of Zer0 Books, which used to pick up a lot of great critical writing from blogs and publish writers’ first non-fiction books. One of the reasons I’ve moved into an academic post is that I want to continue to write and move beyond reactive writing commissions. That’s not really possible in the museum sector as you’re in constant delivery mode. I do realise that I’m now at a point in my career where that’s possible and that is a privilege. I’m interested in how writers at an earlier stage in their career might find opportunities to grow as writers and I think that’s where we need targeted support. 

I think galleries and museums are quite conservative when it comes to supporting new writing so it’s important that other avenues exist. Again, I think good writing is undervalued. The key thing is to have a range of platforms and support mechanisms at all stages. There is definitely a lot of writing happening out there. I recently sat on the panel for the Jerwood Writer in Residence programme and they had a huge amount of applicants, many of them very good.

AP: I can well imagine that by moving into academic work, you are better able to hold focus, and that there is more of a shared understanding of the time it takes to work in a more sustained way with a deeper level of engagement. My worry is that once activity enters the academy it has a tendency to disappear from circulation, to be proscribed to an extent, or at least not be in as immediate a dialogue with other writing, writers and artists as it might in the more reactive world of the art press, for instance. How do you feel about this? Do you feel you will continue to be able to navigate work elsewhere alongside your academic career?

GV: I agree and I have concerns about this, and think that you have to strike a balance. Much academic writing is published behind exclusionary pay walls and very expensive books. It’s also often impenetrable. Personally, I’m a big admirer of public academics, people who bring their research to life to a broad audience. I think you can navigate both spaces. I do think academics and universities have a role to play publicly beyond the confines of their conferences etc. I’ve never really been interested in communicating to the artworld to be honest: it doesn’t motivate me at all.

LV: Just to jump in quickly here, as this is more or less what the role I’m in at the University of Huddersfield, ‘Cultural Programme Manager’, was created for: to help researchers and academics create public programmes from their research. Obviously this has been initially easier with visual artists and musicians whose work already has an element of public performance or reception, but now I’m having some really interesting curatorial conversations with linguists, historians and other across the humanities who, it seems, hadn’t realised or had the opportunity to see how gleefully their specialist knowledge can be received by the general public, or indeed that those with technical skills in the art and textiles departments want to collaborate and vice versa. I’m excited to see what kind of criticality & writing this might generate.

AP: Navigating both spaces, and bridging the gap, is a fine goal. And the point you make about the relative conservatism of museums and galleries is crucial, I think. I wonder if what is required is a wholesale change of key: to find a way of asking those institutions to re-evaluate their position regarding writing. It would be interesting to hear from Emma at this point, to gain a better understanding of how institutions approach critical writing. Do you tend to work with writers and writing as part of the process of curating exhibitions at Baltic? 

ED: At Baltic we commission writers to produce texts for our publications, but they are not directly involved in the process of curating exhibitions. Our exhibition guides, interpretation panels, extended labels and so on are usually written by the curator leading on the project and reviewed by colleagues internally for accessibility. 

In the past we have commissioned writers from Corridor 8 and This is Tomorrow to write reviews for our exhibitions. I think it would be interesting to invite emerging writers to reflect on and respond to our exhibitions and ‘spotlight’ their writing online or within the building somehow. Just to mention here also, we run a yearly open call for S.P.A.M. Spreads, a printed publication which features the work of self-publishing artists.

AP: I think that’d be an interesting initiative, and one which might presumably be able to be implemented relatively painlessly. But I’d like to know, also, whether you might see a future for writing as being more tightly woven into the fabric of exhibition-making, and which might be allowed to function as something in and of itself. That is, critical responses to exhibitions are very important, both for artists and institution, but something more generative could be exciting in a different way. 

As an exhibition visitor I’d really appreciate longer-form texts by both curators and commissioned writers to accompany shows — I don’t mean as part of publications, but in exhibition guides, on walls, and so on. A writing residency might also be a way of engaging with writers in a way which isn’t purely responsive, too, but which sees writing as a primary activity which exists in parallel to work shown in the galleries. 

This might also be where we depart from the ‘critical’: to me, it’d be fantastic to see more creative or experimental writing in and around gallery exhibitions, and not as one-offs but as part of the general weave of the institution. Would anything like that ever work in the context of a large institution like Baltic, and could you see the value of moving towards a closer relationship with writers and writing?

ED: Yes that’s certainly possible: criticality is important, and it would be exciting to invite a range of writers to respond to our exhibitions, not just from a contemporary art background but other disciplines too. There needs to be an agreed selection and commissioning process (whether we select writers through an open call, for example) and a fee structure to support it. With regard to residencies, Baltic hosted a writer’s residency in partnership with Shoreside Huts in Alnmouth a couple of years ago, and it was very popular, so there is definitely demand for this kind of opportunity, although the invitation was to develop a new piece of research-based writing rather than to respond critically to an exhibition. 

AP: That was a good opportunity, and I hope it may be repeated at some point, or even offered more regularly. It would certainly be exciting to imagine a series of residencies which can cover different forms of writing practice.

As you’ve all demonstrated, there are many opportunities to further develop the profile of writing and writers in the region around the visual arts. What strikes me most about this discussion is the sense of possibility — not only to create new opportunities, but to do it our own way. We need a framework that will suit the North East but one which could also act as an exemplar nationally: Corridor8’s response to the structural conditions faced by writers is one such bold move. We have work to do! ♣︎

Main image: A view of the Central Library, Princess Square, Newcastle upon Tyne (1968). Public domain / courtesy Newcastle Libraries

About the contributors

Emma Dean is a curator, editor and writer based in Newcastle upon Tyne, and Curator at Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead, where she contributes to the strategic direction of the artistic programme and its associated research strands. Emma has curated numerous exhibitions including mid-career surveys of Thomas Scheibitz, Caroline Achaintre, Huma Bhabha and Sutapa Biswas, major institutional presentations by Jesse Wine, Jumana Emil Abboud, Sofia Stevi, Ifeoma U. Anyaeji, Joy Labinjo, Mounira Al Solh, and was co-curator of the recent group show Hinterlands. Emma manages international partnerships, edits and contributes to artists’ monographs and collaborates with colleagues on the curation of the public programme. She also leads on Baltic’s Artists’ Residency Programme which supports research and professional development through residencies at Baltic and partner institutions in the UK and internationally.

Tess Denman-Cleaver is the Senior Programme Manager (Young People & Communities) at New Writing North. She previously worked as the Producer of Women Artists of the North East Library, Producer, Artists’ Moving Image at Tyneside Cinema for the Projections programme (2018-2020). Tess was Artistic Director of Tender Buttons (2010-2018) and Programmer for The Northern Charter (2015-2018); and is also an artist. Her recent shows include Return (Workplace Foundation, 2022) and Town Hall Meeting of the Air with Kate Liston (BALTIC 39, 2021). She has a PhD on philosophy, landscape and performance practice. Her academic publications are available online here.

George Vasey is a curator and writer based in Saltburn by the Sea. He is a Senior Lecturer in Curating at Teesside University and has worked in galleries and museums across the UK since 2010. Recent projects include Commoning the Collection, Leeds Art Gallery (2021-22) In the Air, Wellcome Collection (2022) and Forecast, Invisible Dust (2023). He regularly writes for publications and organisations on a wide range of topics and is currently writer in residence at Intoart (2022-23). Alongside this he often mentors and coaches artists, curators and writers and is a Trustee at New Contemporaries (2016-). 

Lauren Velvick is an arts worker based in the North of England. She is currently Cultural Programme Manager at the University of Huddersfield, a Director and Contributing Editor of contemporary art and writing publication Corridor8, and has an independent practice as an art writer and critic. She was recently Associate Creative Producer with Lancaster Arts and Associate Curator at The Art House, Wakefield.