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(Summer 2020)


(Autumn 2019)


(Spring 2020)



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(Summer 2019)

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(Spring 2019)


(Winter 2018)

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(Autumn 2018)


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Issue 14

(December 2016)

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Issue 15

(February 2017)


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Issue 1

(December 2012)


The Project

This article was previously published in Issue 19, ABSENCE (December 2018). On the 27th May at about 8pm, I stood trembling before my bedroom mirror and cut off seven inches of my hair with kitchen scissors. My head now 80 grams lighter, I held the two short fat plaits, which sat soft and somehow fishlike in my still shaking hands. The act of slicing had been impulsively destructive, but it was ultimately an act of liberation. Something was released, and I sprang up and out from the torpor of those past couple of months into perhaps the most intense period of creativity I have ever experienced. Over summer I would go forth to build an entire project centred around the plaits I had severed, r

Jenna Burchell: Musing on Memory and Mending

This article was previously published in Issue 19, ABSENCE (December 2018). One of South Africa’s earliest new media artists, Jenna Burchell scorns the rigidity of artistic disciplines and transitions from performance art to sculpture with fluidity. For ‘Songsmith,’ Burchell mends broken pieces of rocks through the Japanese technique of kintsukuroi. As the viewer draws her hand close to a Songsmith, it senses her presence and begins to hum. Burchell is concerned with memory. Of nature, of individuals. Of nations and peoples. She is even concerned with computer hard drives. Life grinds us down and shatters us into a thousand pieces, but the memories we stubbornly cling to – both the good and

Woven in Time: The Importance of Anni Albers

This article was previously published in Issue 19, ABSENCE (December 2018). The idea that only weaving and ceramics art is suitable for women would not stand today, yet this was a belief that held true at the Bauhaus school, known for its radical, modernist design. To Walter Gropius, founder of the school in 1919, there was ‘no difference between the beautiful sex and the strong sex’, except for the fact that the former could only think in two-dimensions; whilst the latter was able to think in three. Such an assertion would suggest that Gropius was never faced with a handloom. For it is a 1950s handloom, similar to the ones that would have been used in the weaving workshop, that first confro

The Intrigue of Absence: The Subjectless Subject in Giulio Campagnola’s ‘Reclining Woman’

This article was previously published in Issue 19, ABSENCE (December 2018). Few things are more frustrating than the unidentifiable subject, especially for those of us trained to analyze and categorize the images we see. What is to be done with an image that resists categorization and displays a complete absence of identity? Giulio Campagnola’s Reclining Woman, c. 1510-1515 is one such example of a piece that has successfully evaded the epistemological grasp of art historians for centuries. Stripped of iconography, clothing and narrative, we cannot firmly identify this print using typical art historical methodology. No unique objects or traits enable us to understand what narrative the subje

Canaletto’s Eternal Venice

In Venice, there are only one or two paintings by Canaletto (1697-1768), nearly everything he produced is to be found in Britain, thanks to Consul Joseph Smith (1674-1770). A wealthy trader but also art collector, Smith lived for seventy of his ninety-six years in Venice, most of them in the Palazzo Mangilli-Valmarana. Over those seven decades, he gathered together various collections of paintings, sculptures, manuscripts, and jewels. These collections were sold to King George III in 1762 and contained fifty-three paintings and one-hundred-and-forty drawings by Canaletto. Smith also sponsored and promoted many artisans to the English, among them Zuccarelli, Rosalba Carriera, and Canaletto hi

Cruising Towards Decline

Venice is loved for its state of historic perfection. The city remains largely unchanged due to its floating urban structure, which is not as easily transformed as that of other cities. Skyscrapers just wouldn’t hold up on water. And yet, our modern age seems to have found a substitute. Floating Venice has gained its own form of skyscraper: the cruise ship. Cruise Ship in Venice (Image: World Monument Fund) These enormous ships glide with monstrosity across the Grand Canal, almost double the size of the Doge’s palace. Their immense scale is completely disproportionate to the surrounding buildings and people, which, by comparison, are reduced to a sort of ‘theme park’. Even the palace, suppos

Conservation vs. Modernism: The Venetian Vexation

Venice – a city which is inescapably connected to the modern world, but could never truly belong. During the nineteenth century, Venice’s narrow streets, intertwining canals and art-historical monuments became threatened by Modernism. Numerous individuals aimed to gradually replace Venice’s stunning architecture with industrial structures to create a futuristic city. John Ruskin emphasized the importance of conserving the city’s architecture and protecting the landscape from industrialisation in The Stones of Venice (1853). Ruskin argued that Venice was the greatest architectural creation on Earth, as it represented the connection between morality, art and political triumph. Yet, once these

The Life of An Artist: An Interview with Martin Yeoman

Martin Yeoman ( is a British painter, draughtsman, etcher and sculptor who has works in many collections, including those of The Royal Collection, British Museum and The National Trust. His works are also in many notable private collections, including the personal collection of HRH The Prince of Wales. My conversation with Martin, starting with his journey prior to the Royal Academy Schools, follows his career: looking to the past, but also to the future. Many thanks must go to Martin for his insightful responses. Martin Yeoman by Richard Dawkins (Image: Martin Yeoman) T.C. You had a slightly alternative route to the RA Schools, could you tell us a little b

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