Meet The Mentors: Stephanie Bailey // The Double Negative Fellowship 2018


One of four fantastic international mentors working with us as part of our (inaugural) The Double Negative Fellowship, Ocula Magazine’s Stephanie Bailey is ready to share her expertise with you…


Stephanie Bailey is editor-in-chief of Ocula Magazine, a contributing editor to ART PAPERS and LEAP, and the current curator of the Conversations and Salon Programme at Art Basel Hong Kong. A member of the Naked Punch editorial committee, she also writes for Artforum International, Yishu Journal of Contemporary Chinese Art, andD’ivan, A Journal of Accounts. Between 2012 and 2017, she was managing editor and senior editor of Ibraaz.
Essays have appeared in You Are Here: Art After the Internet (ed. Omar Kholeif, Space/Cornerhouse, 2014), for which she was also assistant editor; Happy Hypocrite #8: FRESH HELL (ed. Sophia Al-Maria, Book Works, 2015); Armenity, the catalogue for the Armenian Pavilion at the 56th Venice Biennale (ed. Adelina von Furstenburg, Skira, 2015); the 20th Biennale of Sydney catalogue: The future is already here — it’s just not evenly distributed (ed. Stephanie Rosenthal, 2016); Future Imperfect: Contemporary Art Practices and Cultural Institutions in the Middle East (ed. Anthony Downey, Sternberg Press, 2016); New Normal (text presented in 2017 as an exhibition object at UMAM-BR and Dawawine, Beirut, and Supa Salon, Istanbul, curated by Murat Adash and Hiba Farhat); and Germaine Kruip: Works 1999–2017 (ed. Krist Gruijthuijsen, Koenig Books, London/Oude Kerk, Amsterdam/KW Institute for Contemporary Art, Berlin, 2018).

Stephanie’s recent editorial projects include: Children of Empire, LEAP 37 (February 2016), with contributions from, among others, Anna Kats, Walter D. Mignolo, Uzma Rizvi and Lantian Xie, and Non-Aligned Movements, LEAP 45 (June 2017), with contributors including, among others, Jesse Dcuarling, Hannah Black, Malak Helmy, Mi You, and Vijay Prashad.

Throughout this year, Stephanie will be mentoring one early career writer from the North of England, as part of The Double Negative Fellowship 2018: a professional development support package for writers that aims to boost their confidence and widen their networks, nationally and internationally.

Stephanie told us about her experience of being mentored, and gave us a taste of the support she’ll be offering to our Fellows…

“I learned a lot from working with the editorial staff at Artforum… As a writer starting out, this was all an invaluable education”
Hi Stephanie! Did you ever have a mentor? If so, what were they like? If not, how do you think you might have benefitted from one at the start of your career? 


I did not have a mentor. I learned on the job, starting in Athens, Greece, where I spent six years working as a freelancer  art writer and editor while running a BTEC-accredited foundation course in art and design.


At that time, Art Papers and Yishu gave me a chance to develop my skills by actually commissioning me, and I also learned a lot from working with the editorial staff at and Artforum, where texts go through a rigorous editing process.


As a writer starting out, this was all an invaluable education. Later, I would apply everything I learned to my work at Ibraaz, which was an incredibly formative five years given the creative freedom I was given to edit that platform.


What’s the best bit of practical advice anyone’s ever given you regarding your career in writing? 


The most valuable: description is key—something I took from the English language teaching textbooks I used when teaching writing at a language school in Greece.


A topic sentence must be followed by justifications.


Statements are empty if not substantiated.


The least valuable: context is not important when reviewing a show. (!)
As told to Laura Robertson

The Double Negative Fellowship 2018 aims to discover and encourage new, daring voices from the North of England. A brand new support package for exceptional writers who are interested in art and culture, The Double Negative Fellowship includes one-to-one mentoring from Ellen, plus Stephanie Bailey (Editor-in-Chief, Ocula), Oliver Basciano (International Editor, ArtReview), and Jennifer Higgie (Editorial Director, frieze). Find out more and apply here before 8 July 2018 (12 midnight GMT)

The Double Negative would like to wholeheartedly thank our friends and supporters: Arts Council EnglandArtReviewCreArt (Network of Cities for Artistic Creation), Culture Liverpool, Contemporary Visual Arts Network North West (CVAN NW), Heart of GlassHistory of Art at Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool BiennialOcula, and the University of Salford Art Collection; with particular thanks to Sean Durney, Stephanie Bailey, Oliver Basciano, Jennifer Higgie and Ellen Mara De Wachter
 Read more about the resulting book, Present Tense, and the authors’ journey through The Double Negative Fellowship.

Arts Council England


Posted on 06/07/2018 by thedoublenegative