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Issue 14

(December 2016)

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Issue 15

(February 2017)


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Issue 1

(December 2012)


Fascism and the ‘Call to Order’

It seems we are on the inside, looking out, of a storm of change in politics currently. While change is almost always seen as an unwelcome visitor, these particular winds of change can quite firmly be stated as going very much in the wrong direction. Historically, in times such as these, wherein society is craving order, simplicity, and security, art often desires the same; and we bear witness to a ‘call to order’ – a return to classical tradition. Most vehemently was this seen during and after the First World War, with Picasso’s neoclassical turn, Gino Severini’s 1916 series of figurative paintings exemplary in ‘Maternity’, and Juan Gris’s mid-war return to figure subjects and old master pa

John Carpenter’s ‘They Live’: A Hard-Hitting Wake-Up Call

In ‘The Loop or the Vortex’, Kader Attia reminds us of a limitation Charles Darwin and Alfred Russel Wallace were confronted with as they developed their theory of natural selection. [1] The Neanderthal’s brain was oversized for its needs and although fully adapted to its environment, the species continued to develop. Yet, this so-called development has brought us to the Industrial Age during which human beings, rather than proving their superiority by adapting to their environment, have been accelerating its ruin. Unpredictability within the evolution is explained by Darwin as ‘chance’ while Wallace’s discovery of humanity’s self-destructive agency has led him towards a mystic path. Shepard

‘Velvet Buzzsaw’: Artfully Dodge this Horror

I am usually the first to avoid horror films, but the trailer for Netflix’s Velvet Buzzsaw intrigued me. A horror film concerning the art world is quite an original premise, and I was looking forward to seeing how the art world was portrayed. The film follows art critic Morf Vandewalt (Jake Gyllenhaal) as he searches for originality within Miami Basel, and is soon haunted by a supernatural force seeking revenge on art gallerists pursuing profit from the artworks of an unknown dead painter. Rene Russo and Jake Gyllenhaal in Velvet Buzzsaw (Image: Variety/Netflix) If you, like myself, are tired of the stereotypical art critic who wears a black turtleneck, pinches their chin as they look at an


News of the Notre-Dame fire has deeply shocked people worldwide. Amidst the various reasons for it holding a deep-seated significance for many people, including religious, cultural and national, is Notre-Dame’s status as a Gothic icon. For art historians, amateur enthusiasts and casual onlookers alike, the prospect of losing the cathedral, its stained glass, its Cavaillé-Coll organ and the artworks inside, is nothing short of horrifying. Notre-Dame, Pre-Fire (Photo: Francesca Vine) Sitting down to dinner, I idly opened my newsfeed and gasped in horror at the breaking headline. The live footage was worse, showing billowing clouds and bright orange flames rising high above the cathedral. At fi

Cosmically Curated: April Art 'Scopes

No school, no problems? Maybe so. April is looking calm and revolving a little bit more around the inner self this go around. With the time out of classes, you might actually be able to get around to some exhibitions. Cultivate yourself like a well-tended garden, and debut as swiftly and beautifully as the cherry blossoms about London. Spring is here, groom and bloom. Illustration by Jemima Hooke Aries If the stars could serenade, then this month they would sing, ‘I’ve got my eyes on you, you’re everything that I see.’ Astrologically, you will be the centre of attention for all of April. If you need to switch and bait, then head over to a concert of the only man more popular than you, Drake.

Notes on Camp: ‘Boom, Boom, Boom, Boom!!’

Picture the scene. You’re in your most splendid garb, nursing a double vodka orange between the murky hours of 12am and 4am in The Flying Handbag, an iconic gay club in the heart of Blackpool. Maybe you’re in the smoking area. Maybe you can hear the faint siren call of an S Club 7 Megamix pounding through the walls. Maybe it’s Kylie’s 2001 banger Love at First Sight. Either way the music starts to crossfade, the drag queen DJ instructs ‘Get on yer feet’ in an enchanting north-west accent and that all too familiar ‘Woaah woaah’ smacks you in the face like a big whiff of amyl nitrate. Naturally, euphoria ensues. Forget Cher, Madonna, Britney and even Whitney, this is the Vengaboys; Dutch Eurod

Longer and Longer: Another Extension for May

As MPs leave the Commons for their Easter break, I’m taking time out of mine to bring you my weekly report on the chaos that we call ‘the news’. Just as last week, you may be aware that we are still in the EU, despite the revised leave date of the 12th having passed on Friday. This is because earlier in the week May went back to Brussels (her Eurostar loyalty card must be overflowing with points by now) to grovel once again for just a little more time, but first, she had to make some house-calls on the way. Illustration by Rhiannon Powell First to find the beleaguered PM on their doorstep was German leader Angela ‘on her way out’ Merkel who Theresa dropped in to see just to be sure that she

Modern Sapphics

The discoveries of new poems by Sappho in 2004 and 2014, particularly the near-completion of the Tithonus poem, excited both scholarly and worldwide audiences. Sappho’s poetry appears to be as greatly admired today as it was in antiquity – from the seventh century BC onwards, she was known as the ‘Tenth Muse’ and the ‘The Poetess’, and was a popular character in Athenian comedic plays and vase decoration. From the nineteenth century, Sappho adopted her current cultural role as an icon for women’s rights, becoming a model for the ‘New Woman’: independent, educated, with social and sexual autonomy. By the 1960s, her feminist caricature was firmly entrenched in popular culture. However, this ra

Christopher Marlowe’s ‘Edward II’ and Tom Stuart’s ‘After Edward’ at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse, Th

Tom Stuart and Beru Tessema in ‘Edward II’ at the Sam Wanamaker Playhouse (Photo: Marc Brenner) I would not usually be compelled to write a review, or even a response to a piece of theatre. In fact, let me state that I find writing reviews extremely difficult. How could I sum up a two-hour, one-of-a-kind emotional journey in a mere couple hundred words? Nevertheless, I am doing it now because for the past month these two Globe productions have kept me thinking about how theatre can successfully imprint onto our emotions. Marlowe’s ‘Edward II’ follows the unfortunate Medieval King who met his fate in the most gruesome and undignified way, murdered by members of his own court who were aided by

Vote, Vote, and Vote Again: Brexit Deadlock

The one time I take a week off from bringing you a window into the world of news and all hell breaks loose. Since I last wrote, March came to an end and with it our membership of the EU… or did it? The observant ones amongst you may have noticed that we are still ‘in’ or, as Theresa May said after the (first) earth-shattering defeat of her deal a few months back, “nothing has changed.” So how did we get here? Well, as outlined in my last column, our departure had been delayed to the 12th of April or, if the Commons agreed to May’s deal, the 22nd of May. However, when the PM bought her twice-defeated deal to the house for the third time, quelle surprise, it was shot down in flames again. This

The Boss: Non-Conformity Through the Eyes of Eileen Gray

Non-Conformist, Eileen Gray, 1926 (Image: One of my least favourite questions, right after “what are your plans after university?”, is without a doubt “Emi, which chair is your favourite?”. Without sounding corny, I think all chairs are special. There is no universal checklist that makes it possible for me to decide my ultimate favourite, particularly because these objects are designed to fulfil countless functions. I do, however, have a favourite strain of chair: design inspired by sculpture. With this in mind, I want to present this week’s playful take on chair design as an art form, the Non-Conformist by Eileen Gray. This chair was designed by Gray for the bedroom of the

'Mary Queen of Scots': Women in Tudor Britain

As I am currently on the Constructing Empires Constellation Course, I was particularly excited to see two historical movies, Mary Queen of Scots and The Favourite, to see how historical female monarchs asserted their power. The former film depicts the complex history of Mary's life, from her return to Scotland in 1561 to her beheading in 1587. From beginning to end, the two leading women are shown in similar scenarios to show their similar position as monarchs. Mary Queen of Scots, Film Poster, 2019 (Image: IMDb) Elizabeth is presented as being obsessed with image. More than once she is shown looking through glass windows, and when glancing at the portrait of her cousin, it is held up again

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