Mary Horlock was born in Australia and grew up in Guernsey, in the Channel Islands.
She was previously curator of contemporary art at Tate Liverpool and Tate Britain, and was for a time the curator of the Turner Prize, the Tate’s annual prize for contemporary art awarded to an artist under 50. She has written widely on art and contributed to exhibition catalogues for artists such as Wolfgang Tillmans, Jane and Louise Wilson and the late Helen Chadwick. She also published a monograph on Julian Opie for the Tate.
She is the author of the novel, The Book of Lies, published by Canongate, which was long listed for the Guardian First Book Award, and the non-fiction memoir, Joseph Gray’s Camouflage, published by Unbound. The latter is the story of her great grandfather, Joseph Gray, who was an official War artist in the First World War and a camouflage artist in the Second.
Mary now lives in North London with her partner, the writer and psychoanalyst Darian Leader, and their children. She swims daily in all weathers and works as a volunteer librarian at Keats Library in Hampstead.