About Us

#beacritic with LJMU, Arts Council England and The Double Negative Magazine

We are a UK-based online magazine featuring a selection of the most interesting cross-sections of arts, design, film and music. Readers come to us for our critical analysis, interviews, features, new artists, and cultural commentary. We just aren’t like the others.

Our mission: to hold a mirror up to the UK arts scene — in particular the North-West and North of England — uncovering and analysing the talent based here. We have a particular investment in encouraging and developing the next generation of art critics. We believe it is incredibly important to offer platforms for fearless, well-researched and balanced criticism, which represents a wide range of voices and stories.

The Founding Fathers

The Double Negative was conceived and co-founded in a post-Capital of Culture Liverpool, UK, in December 2011, by culture journalist Mike Pinnington and artist/curator Laura Robertson. We pooled our professional experience in contemporary arts and culture, journalism, blogging, and independent art spaces, and were fuelled by a burning desire to kickstart something superb. Liverpool, it seemed, had attained a level of creative maturity – across various disciplines – that meant its output deserved increased levels of comment and criticism. Indeed, it needed those things. The Double Negative was a reaction: a means of expressing and analysing what we loved (and what we thought could be better) in contemporary arts. We especially wanted to highlight the artists, projects and venues that were flying under the radar in Liverpool and more widely across the North.


Now, we’ve grown our ranks to over 500 contributors based all over the UK and in far-flung spots across the world, and our TDN army write for the world’s top arts and culture publications — including ArtReview, Frieze, Art Monthly, The Art Newspaper, a-n, VICE, Art World, Dazed, the Guardian, the Independent, Aesthetica Magazine, Corridor 8, Creative Tourist, Garageland, Shanghai International, a-n news, Tate Online and more.

However, our aim is the same: to tell the stories that matter most to us.


Mike Pinnington (TDN co-founder, full-time editor) is a writer based in Liverpool, and has been published most recently by Art Review, Ocula and byNWR. From 2013-2018 he held the role of Content Editor at Tate Liverpool, working with the exhibitions and communications teams to deliver the galleries’ interpretation, web content, and in-house zine, Compass.


Laura Robertson (TDN co-founder, contributing editor) is a writer and critic based in Liverpool and London. Her work has been published in Frieze, Elephant, Hyperallergic, Art Monthly, ArtReview and a-n amongst others; is a critical writer-in-residence at Open Eye Gallery; and is part of the 2018-20 MA Writing cohort at the Royal College of Art. Trustee and former director of The Royal Standard Gallery & Studios.


Branding, visual concept and design

The Double Negative visual concept — from colour to layout to logo — was brought to reality in a collaboration with two design gurus: John Wai and Mike Carney. We are grateful for their continued support, ideas and friendship.

Past Editorial Assistants

ARTS: Journalism NCTJ Diploma graduate Vanessa Wheeler

ARTS: Artist and History of Art postgraduate (University of Manchester) Heather Garner

DESIGN: Graphic Arts (Leeds) graduates Matthew Buckton and Sam Garroch (Culture Diary)

Past Guest Editors

ARTS: John Moores Critic Award Winner and freelance writer Linda Pittwood (Shanghai International, Aesthetica Magazine)

MUSIC: Musician and journalist David Tate (Line Of Best Fit, Clash Magazine, Bido Lito)

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