Dr. Justine Hopkins is a writer and freelance lecturer in Art History, currently living in Bristol.
She took a BA Hons degree at Bristol University, reading English and Drama, then changed direction and did an MA in Art History at the Courtauld Institute. After eighteen months working as an archaeological illustrator, partly in Belize, she returned to Art History, gaining a PhD from Birkbeck College, London for her research into the relationship between science, religion and landscape painting from the French Revolution to Darwin’s Origin of Species. Since then she has worked freelance as an Art History lecturer and writer: for Bristol, London, Oxford and Cambridge Universities; Tate Britain and Tate Modern, the National and National Portrait Galleries; the Victoria and Albert Museum; Sotheby’s, Christies’ and assorted independent institutions. She is also a registered lecturer for NADFAS.
[Please see 'Lecturing' section of this site for a list of Art History courses that she gives]
Justine is the step-granddaughter of the sculptor and painter Michael Ayrton, and the main point of contact for all matters connected with his work.
[See ‘Ayrton Estate’ section for further details]
As a writer of Historical Fantasy she is represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency.
[See ‘Writing’ section]
"I write historical fantasy novels, lecture in art history and spend my free time – such as it is – walking, gardening and making lamp-worked glass beads and tapestry cushion covers. I used to worry about lack of focus, but over the last few years I've realised that the things I do aren't really so incompatible. I like to know how things work, especially but not exclusively living things, and I enjoy the process of finding out. I’m curious about difference and communication – above all I get excited by the unexpected, by being surprised at the direction things take and the way they turn out. My research is based on facts and my techniques tend to be practical and empirical; my imagination, on the other hand, is speculative and inclined to make connections in ways unpredictable even to me. Ultimately everything I do informs everything else and it's all a matter of the appropriate balance for the particular activity; I like to think I get it right, most of the time anyway."