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(Summer 2019)

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Issue 14

(December 2016)

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Issue 15

(February 2017)


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Issue 1

(December 2012)


Colouring the Past: Homer, Soane & Klein

Yves Klein, Blue Venus works on display at Blenheim Palace, 2018 (Photo: Vogue) Colour is a concerningly abstract and amorphous concept which we have to engage with on the daily, and much of the interest in the semi-myth that the ancient Greeks had no word for the colour ‘blue’ comes from a fundamental mistrust in the idea that our experience of colour is not a universal human experience. ‘Wine-dark’ sea is the traditional translated epithet given to Homer in place of blue. In fact, Homer used two adjectives to describe more intricate facets of the colour blue: kuaneos, a dark shade of blue leaning into black; and glaukos, a ‘blue-grey’, used in Athena’s epithet glaukopis – ‘grey-gleaming ey

Sticker Shtick

All of my visits to Tate Modern have been a hit or miss. There’s a very inorganic feel to it as an institution. Maybe it’s the multitude of different works crammed together in the same space, or their past associations to BP…nonetheless it’s an unpleasant experience. Due to the fact that I had family visiting and they wanted to go and see their latest exhibitions, I obediently tagged along. That same day, March 23rd, happened to be one of the most important days in the three-year ordeal known as Brexit: the ‘Put It to The People’ protest. From early morning, people were flooding into London, ready to march and make their voices heard. Everyone seemed excited and anxious to see what the outco

'Into the Mind of the Coloniser': In Conversation with Adelaide Damoah

On Thursday 28 March, British-Ghanaian artist Adelaide Damoah will present ‘Into the Mind of the Coloniser’, in the Virginia Woolf Room of the Mary Ward House in London. The performance is part of a three-day event organised by Open Space entitled ‘Forum: Of Hosts & Guests’. Throughout the evening, the audience will read aloud with Damoah, reciting passages from nineteenth-century instruction manuals written for colonisers. Slowly, the artist will be cut from her Ghanaian funeral dress, revealing her bare skin painted red like dried blood. She will then coat herself in shea butter and create an imprint of her form upon the manuals – the shadow of the past upon the present. The somatic focus

Sacking Sackler & May’s Civil War

BUMPER END-OF-TERM EDITION Illustration by Rhiannon Powell This week I begin with a story that has been bubbling away for some time now, the ongoing Sackler Affair. Many of you will be familiar with the name, the Sacklers seemingly have their name plastered all over every major arts institution in the country, from the V&A and the National Gallery, to the Royal Opera House and the National Theatre. Their name is even attached to our very own Sackler Research Forum here at The Courtauld. The trans-Atlantic family made their money in the pharmaceutical business and, through the Sackler Trust, for almost the last fifty years they have been giving art institutions across the US and UK large sums

Division, Derision, Diversions, & Delay

As promised, last week was a big one for Brexit. In my last column, I outlined what was planned, in this one I’ll recount what actually happened. The first of three important votes this week was on Tuesday, parliament was set to vote on May’s proposed Brexit deal…again. After the last time MPs voted it down, she was sent off to the EU to make changes to the Irish backstop element to ensure that the UK would not end up in a strange limbo between being fully out and partly in. By Monday there was no sign of any changes and MPs prepared to vote down exactly the same deal they had voted down in January…but then, at the very last moment, around 11pm on Monday evening, May announced she’d done it.

The Unifying Power of Jewellery

With the ongoing Brexit debate over whether to stay or leave - a metaphor for divorce reoccurring in newspaper headlines; the unifying message of Valentine’s Day holds greater importance. We may love and live in close proximity to one another, however, the impermeable membrane of our skin ensures that we can never inhabit exactly the same space as another individual: we are islands. In 1956, Aldous Huxley eloquently wrote, after his psychedelic experience under the influence of mescaline: “From family to nation, every human group is a society of island universes”. Huxley recognised that these ‘island universes’ are not totally isolated: through speech and touch “most island universes are suf

Midnight in a Perfect World - DJ Shadow's 'Entroducing'

It’s midnight. I’m walking home, I see nothing but dark buildings and orange streetlights. Traffic goes by nearby, I can hear the wind in the trees. Somewhere below, in a nearby garden, a fox rests. With my headphones on, there is a peace to the city. We all have albums that form us. A track list that takes you back to a specific time, place or emotion. For most of us, a few specific albums become the soundtracks to our lives, melodies and lyrics that move past the mind and engrave themselves unto us. For better or worse, we carry these songs on our backs, in our hearts. For me, DJ Shadow's 1996 classic Entroducing is just that. Mo' Wax Records, Entroducing by DJ Shadow, 1996, Cover by Brian

Courtauld Careers Alumni Networking Event

We are incredibly proud to announce that last Thursday’s Careers Networking Event was the most successful to date, with 46 careers certificate completers attending! With a wide range of alumni present, from Bruce Boucher, Director of the Sir John Soane’s Museum, to Coco Chen, who does public policy for Credit Suisse, our students truly appreciated them giving up their free time to help and advise the next generation. Photograph by Francesca Vine Julia, an MA student, had this to say: "I was a bit nervous before the event because while I want to pursue a career in academia, I thought it was a good idea to inform myself about all possible options and wasn't sure if I was informed enough about

Cosmically Curated: March Art 'Scopes

March always goes in like a lion, but this year particularly so with a Mercury retrograde near the beginning of the month. That means that nitty gritty logistical things could go wrong, so make sure to double check all emails, texts, and plans. Despite the retrograde, this is astrologically a very potent and powerful time for most zodiac signs. Though there may be minor setbacks, you’re sure to come out like a lamb. Find beauty in the backwards and enjoy an especially mercurial March. Illustration by Jemima Hooke Aries This month you may approach a sharp switchback in your path. Even if what you want to be doing is relevant to what you are doing, try to think outside of the box. For inspirat

A Clear Path Through the Brexit Fog?

I’m sorry everyone, but this week it really is unavoidable, I’m going to have to mention the B-word. The fog of Brexit is obscuring all other news but it’s best to acknowledge it. Turns out that sitting with your eyes closed, wishing very, very hard for it to go away doesn’t work – as Theresa May has discovered. Set up for this coming week are three important votes that will decide the future of the UK’s position in relation to our EU neighbours, so here’s what to expect… Illustration by Rhiannon Powell On the 12th there will be another ‘meaningful’ vote in the Commons on May’s deal. I know there have been meaningful votes before on the deal, but they meant nothing, this one, this time, is t

Read ALUMNAE online now!

Click to read ALUMNAE online now This special, one-off publication from The Courtauldian celebrates the centenary of women across the UK getting the vote. It explores eighteen outstanding female alumnae from The Courtauld, from the early days of the university, to a matter of years ago, with each profile written by a current student at the university.

The Lady from the Sea – 5 Stars

I begin with a caveat. I don’t much like Ibsen. To be honest, I don’t much like a lot of ‘classic’ old (male) writers. I find Chekhov very stiff, Bernard Shaw formulaic, and I can’t stand Arthur Miller. Sorry-not-sorry. In light of this, the Norwegian Ibsen Company’s production of The Lady from the Sea (showing now at the Print Room at the Coronet, until 9th of March) was a pleasant surprise. Which is to say that it was really good. The Lady from the Sea, Print Room (Source: Coronet | Print Room) Marit Moumane’s company is part Norwegian, part English, and the dialogue is delivered in an amalgam of both languages. This is a canny decision as it plays into the themes of ‘difference’ and separ

Es Tu Cohen? – Trump Wounded but is it Fatal?

This week was a busy one for the Fat Controller of the United States, Donald Trump. He was off to Hanoi in Vietnam for the long-awaited ‘Part 2’ of his initial summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un. The summit was meant to last several days and was to focus around the continued denuclearisation of North Korea and America’s assistance in it opening its economy to the West. Trump spent the days leading up to the meeting lavishing compliments on Kim, describing him as "sharp as you can be" and "a real leader”, going on to add, "He's a character. He's a real personality. He's very smart." This barrage of sycophantic language was beginning to make this important summit sound like a romant

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