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Minding the Gaps: Imagism in Pound’s ‘In a Station of the Metro’

In a Station of the Metro The apparition of these faces in the crowd: Petals on a wet, black bough.                                                                                                                                    Ezra Pound (1913) It is almost one hundred years since Ezra Pound used the phrase ‘Make it New’ (1928), and although current writers and critics may seem more concerned with what it means to write…

Why the tiny nips? A rumination on a lack of areolas.

“Why the tiny nips?” I thought to myself as I gazed upon the painting of The Virgin and Child by Dieric Bouts. I was attending the current exhibition at the York art Gallery, which features some of the most prominent Netherlandish painters of the last 500 years. The Virgin herself seemed suitably beatific and was depicted gazing adoringly at her son whom she is about to breastfeed. There is nothing particularly unusual about this, however in this painting the Virgin has both very small nipples and a lack of areolas. Having visible nipples and areolas is an essential part of…

Worlds of Portraiture

By Tala Pattinson Image my own   “Each of the portraits was a sealed-away world, visible from without, but impossible to enter” wrote Teju Cole in his 2011 novel Open City. After reading this line, I happened to look up from the page to the cork board on the wall beside my bed, where I was…

No Flash Photography

  A painting, hanging for hundreds of years in an art gallery, can withstand much. Wars, thefts, misguided amateur restoration attempts; the pigments remain largely intact, and the fabric of a painting can remain, to the casual eye, unchanged. Imagine this same, hypothetical painting, in one of Europe or America’s premier galleries, as a tourist aims their camera towards it, feet away. If the flash is on, it emits a ray of bright light, which, along with an accompanying, barely perceptible amount of heat, hurtles across the room before smashing into the surface of the painting. The short, high energy…

Olafur Eliasson’s ‘In Real Life’: Artistic authority and political art

Bea Nolan   ‘In Real Life’ is Icelandic artist Olafur Eliasson’s ambitious return to the Tate. The exhibition is made up of works spanning 27 years with large installations dominating the gallery space. The exhibition takes the viewer on a journey through the elements by introducing natural phenomenon into the gallery space.   Many pieces…

Art & Interpretation: Knowledge ISN’T always key to understanding.

By Melissa Canham In a generation where we are consistently shaped by our surroundings, the space between the artist and audience, can sometimes be considered to be dominated by critical interpretations and social influences. This has become overwhelmingly apparent, to the point that we can sometimes question whether our own interpretation of a piece of…

How Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s ‘APESH*T’ music video is still redefining classical artwork appreciation

By Rachel Smiles   Filmed back in May of 2018, and made public in June of the same year, Beyoncé and Jay-Z’s music video for APESH*T still continues to have a cultural impact today.  Shot entirely in and around the Louvre Art Museum in Paris, the six-minute music video parallels striking images of classical artwork and perfectly in sync dance sequences.   The artwork is featured in a variety of ways; the Carters flank Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa, remaining largely motionless but mimicking her famous smirk.  Jacques-Louis David’s Madame Recamier is centred in a stunning shot during a few moments…

The Lightning Field

By Evie McKenna              In the middle of a field, in the middle of nowhere, in Catron County, New Mexico are 400 stainless steel poles placed in an exact grid over a piece of undulating land. The poles are set 220 feet apart from each other, at an elevation of 7,200 feet above sea level and range in height from 15 to 26.5 inches. It is these poles that make up Walter de Maria’s sculpture The Lightning Field (c.1977).   Combining the natural beauty of the American landscape with the man-made structures of the lightning…

The Hideous Complexity of ‘An Allegory with Venus and Cupid’

  By Abigail Wafer On the first floor of the House of Trembling Madness in York hangs a large print of Bronzino’s  ‘An Allegory with Venus and Cupid’, or as it also known, ‘Venus, Cupid, Folly and Time’ (1545). The brightly coloured, busy Mannerist painting serves to compound the cosy yet macabre atmosphere the pub, and in some ways it does achieve this – the painting is grotesque, explicit and disturbing.   At the foreground we see mother and son, Venus and Cupid, share a kiss, with Cupid holding his mother’s breast whilst attempting to steal her Crown. In the…

“She assured him that the object of her task was not to control him, but out of necessity… to control herself”

By Muirin Kramer    Carrie Mae Weems’ Kitchen Table Series (1990) tells the semi-fictional story of a woman caught between the personal and the political. Played by Weems herself, a female subject is the constant in these evocative images. In 20 vignettes accompanied by text, the life of this woman develops beneath a sharp glaring light borrowed from an interrogation room, with space for the viewer / witness / interrogator left vacant at the nearer side of the table. The series is about power, and about how we find and come to terms with our own power. Weems herself has…