Selina Oakes

Profession: Contemporary arts writer and researcher.

Tell us about you: My lifestyle is a bit nomadic as I’m constantly travelling up and down the country. Currently, I’m pursuing a career as a freelance writer and researcher in the contemporary arts industry. I love hearing about new projects and experiencing exhibitions that respond to wider societal and environmental debates. In the past, I headed up Aesthetica Magazine’s Digital Content and annual Art Prize, and supported the delivery of its BAFTA recognised film festival. I’m now an associate at AirSpace Gallery, Stoke-on-Trent, and a freelancer for Partners in Creative Learning.

What inspires you? Collaboration. Things seem richer when they’re informed by multiple disciplines. I’m inspired by the visual arts’s crossover with choreography, design, technology and the natural world. I’m a budding supporter of environmental awareness, both within and beyond the arts.

What do you love about where you live? The West Midlands’ young, grass-roots culture, which means that anything can sway from not possible to possible from one day to the next. Plus, I love being so close to the Peaks National Park for weekend walks and of course, Manchester, Birmingham and Liverpool are only a short train journey away.

Favourite local hangout? There are lots of independent businesses popping up around the city, particularly in the Cultural Quarter. I love the atmosphere and menu at RAWR cafe: their ‘Flu Slayer’ is a lifesaver in the cold winter months!

What would your superpower be? I’ve always thought that owning Bernard’s Watch would be an amazing asset, plus
teleportation: there are so many wonderful places that I’d love to visit, minus the carbon footprint.

Tell us a secret. I’m a reformed plant killer with momentary lapses.