My first proper publication was a very small cookery book (small but condescending, shall we say?) called Black Coffee & Cigarettes, which I wrote, published and distributed while studying at Glasgow University in the early 1990s. While I still require little excuse to cook large, sprawling meals, at the time I felt the market was oversaturated with cookery writers (how wrong I turned out to be…). Soon after graduating I organised an arts festival in Glasgow, and started writing about the rapidly changing independent arts scene - which at the time included design, stand up comedy and sound - for The Times and The Glasgow Herald.
During the 1990s I had columns in both The Times and The Independent on Saturday (the latter rather short lived - I was going through a particularly obscure phase) and wrote regularly for a number of British newspapers, including The Guardian, The Independent and The Evening Standard. I also contributed occasionally to magazines including Dazed & Confused, The Modern Review and Prospect.
In 2001 I moved to the US with my small son, and from there, in 2002 to Istanbul, where I developed another small son. In Istanbul I wrote for Time Out Istanbul, Cornucopia and .bkz and occasionally contributed travel features to international publications including Condé Nast Traveller. In 2005 I moved to Belgium where I started writing for the legendary (and alas now defunct) expat publication The Bulletin, subsequently becoming a section editor for the magazine and upping its focus on the Antwerp fashion scene. From Belgium I also contributed features to The International Herald Tribune, The Financial Times and DAMn. After a chance meeting with the editor on a trip to Beijing, I also started writing a regular column for ArtReview magazine. I left The Bulletin and became first editor at large and then editor in chief of The Word, a young Brussels-based magazine focussed on fashion, photography and culture.
While working at The Word I was approached by MoMu, the fashion museum of Antwerp, to curate a major exhibition on Delvaux, the world's oldest luxury goods company, and source of much pride in Belgium. Many months working in the company's archive and in the leather workshops eventually led to the exhibition and book Delvaux: 180 Years of Belgium Luxury.
In 2010 I moved back to London and started editing for Phaidon, working on publications including Defining Contemporary Art, Art & Queer Culture and Pattern: 100 Fashion Designers, 10 Curators for which I also wrote the introduction. In 2011 I started writing on art, fashion and even food (finally!) for TIME magazine, and also contributed essays to a number of publications connected to the creative scene in Antwerp, including books on Walter Van Beirendonck and the pioneering makeup artist/ photography duo Inge Grognard and Ronald Stoops.
In 2012 I started work with Violette Editions on Interwoven: Kvadrat Textile and Design which I edited and to which I contributed essays on Tord Boontje and Sevil Peach (the book was published by Prestel). I also contributed the introduction to Emerald, produced by Violette Editions for Thames & Hudson, texts for the book accompanying Jeremy Deller's touring exhibition All That Is Solid Melts Into Air, and a catalogue essay for the Happy Birthday Dear Academie exhibition at MoMU. I also oversaw the updates and wrote many of the entries for Phaidon's revised edition of The Fashion Book.
After a few years working on the editorial team of the venerable British art magazine ArtReview, in September 2015 I left to go fully freelance. My first regular gig came as art critic for The Independent on Sunday: since the Sindy's unfortunate demise I have moved over to the i for which I am now the chief art critic. I still write on and off for The New York Times and T Magazine, both online and in print, and contribute rather more regularly to The Guardian's culture pages. I'm a regular writer for Art Quarterly, Art Monthly, ArtReview and Frieze, and also write on art for lifestyle publications including Vogue and House and Garden. For the last few years I have also been a contributing editor to the wonderful journal The Plant.
I have written catalogue essay for shows ranging from the Venice Biennale to small exhibitions in new independent galleries. After many years break from curating, I had a great time putting together a two part (online) exhibition on Alexis Hunter - Money, Art, Sex - for Richard Saltoun gallery in 2020.
I do a LOT of talking. Often with artists, and often about art.
Recent books include Art London (ACC Art Books, 2019), Frida Kahlo (Laurence King, 2020), Caroline Walker: Janet (Anomie, 2020.) After years of research and campaigning work on art and motherhood, the guidelines on How not to Exclude Artist Mothers now have their own website - www.artist-parents.com - and I continue to work in the field with perhaps a book or two in the offing.