Looking through glass

Maya Ahuja-Hofheiz   Dale Chihuly, hailed the ‘worlds most celebrated’ contemporary glass artist recently held an exhibition of his work in Kew Gardens, called “Reflections on Nature”. The exhibition was comprised of a series of works scattered through the gardens themselves in an ‘artworks trail’ (a classic exhibition format for Kew, but a departure for…

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…

Here’s Looking at You, Kid

By Isabella George   The Passing Winter is a strange beast. Standing at around two metres in height, its scale should make it something of an imposing presence in a gallery space. But its four sides of glass mirror condemn the piece to a reflective, somewhat half present state. It only exists when it reflects the person that looks at it, that is, you. Step towards the glassy monolith and you will notice a variety of holes punched into the smooth and glassy exterior. These polka dots are something of a signature for Yayoi Kusama, the Japanese artist behind the…

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…