Published in Elephant August 17, 2021
I was small enough to be picked up to see the painting, held comfortably in my father’s arms. It was a good print, in a good frame, hanging on the wall in my grandmother’s dining room. It is the first artwork I can remember really being aware of, and I loved it.
Continue reading “How I learned not to worry about being cool and fell in love with Renoir again”
Published in BBC Culture July 20, 2021
You know Frida Kahlo – of course you do. She is the most famous female artist of all time, and her image is instantly recognisable, and unavoidable. Kahlo can be found everywhere, on T-shirts and notebooks and mugs.
Continue reading “The unseen masterpieces of Frida Kahlo”
Exciting news: I am delighted to have been shortlisted for Freelance art and design writer of the year in 20201’s Freelance Writing Awards, for two piece I wrote for BBC Culture.
Continue reading “A Freelance Writing Awards nomination”
Published in BBC Culture May 12, 2021
For books that are all about surprising transformations, it should perhaps be no real surprise that Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass are among the most frequently adapted and reinterpreted stories ever written.
Continue reading “Why Alice is the ultimate icon of children’s books”
Published in BBC Culture March 19, 2021
“Love, lust, pleasure, desire, beauty, anatomical study, self-expression, egotism… The impulses behind sending nudes are many. Creating nudes and sharing them seems to be part of human nature.” So begins Karla Linn Merrifield, in the first contribution to a new anthology entitled Sending Nudes. A collection of poems, stories and memoir on the subject, it takes a long hard look at the contemporary – and seemingly timeless – habit of sharing images of the naked human form.
Continue reading “A cultural history of the nude selfie”
Published in BBC Culture February 3, 2020
If we hear at all about Britain’s involvement in slavery, there’s often a slight whiff of self-congratulation – for abolishing it in 1833, 32 years ahead of the US, where the legacy of slavery is still more of an open wound. Less well known, however, is the enormous cost of this decision for the taxpayer – the British government spent £20 million, a staggering 40% of its budget in 1833, to buy freedom for slaves.
Continue reading “How Britain is facing up to its hidden slavery history”
Published in BBC Culture November 14, 2019
In 2017, Florence Schechter discovered that Iceland had a penis museum, but that nowhere in the world could its female equivalent be found. And so, the science communicator decided to do something about it. This month, in London, the Vagina Museum will be born.
Continue reading “How vaginas are finally losing their stigma”
Published in Time Out October 22, 2019
We may need to eat to live, but food is rarely just fuel: it’s ritual, it’s celebration, it’s sex; a signifier of good or bad taste, status or aspiration, individual or national identity.
Continue reading “Review: Feast for the Eyes, Photographers’ Gallery”
Published in BBC Culture October 21, 2019
The backdrop to the portraits is Tahiti. The sitters are feminine, sensual, proffering ripe fruits and wearing flower garlands. The colours are bright: tropical yellows, hot pinks, mango orange and cobalt blue.
Continue reading “Gauguin’s ‘strange, beautiful and exploitative’ paintings”
Published in BBC Culture June 4, 2019
“Change is life.” So said Lee Krasner, in an interview in 1972 – in doing so, the artist captured a truth about her work as well an essential fact of human existence. As an artist, she never stayed still; unlike many of the other Abstract Expressionists she’s sometimes grouped with, Krasner never developed a signature style, but instead remained restlessly reinventive.
Continue reading “Lee Krasner: The wild artist who brought colour to dazzling life”