INNOKA BARTLETT interviews artist Aysha Almoayyed regarding her exhibition piece at the ArtBAB Pavilion. Aysha Almoayyed’s Lost Paradise was showcased at the 2019 Art Bahrain Across Borders (BAB) Pavilion as part of Bahrain’s International Art Fair that took place in March – Manama, Bahrain. Displayed in the pavilion were selected works by thirty of the most creative Bahraini artists. Born in 1988 in Manama, Bahrain, Aysha Almoayyed studied Marketing at Bentley University. She then completed her MFA in Fine Art at Goldsmiths University. Experimenting with mediums including drawing, photography, and installation her artworks explore societal forces in Bahrain and the transformation of the artificial and natural environment. Almoayyed is the youngest recipient of the most renowned art award in Bahrain, the Al Dana Prize. She shares her opinions on contemporary art in Bahraini culture: –Your work is featured in the ArtBAB Pavilion – what is your interpretation of this idea of ‘Bahrain Across Borders’, and how…Continue Reading

In Conversation with Aysha Almoayyed

MIER FOO explores the obsession with beauty and the use of Ancient Greek concepts in Donna Tartt’s The Secret History. The Secret History subverts the usual murder mystery plot line. In the very first sentence of the prologue, Tartt’s narrator Richard confesses his role in the murder of a boy named Bunny, alongside his close-knit group of friends. Bunny is described as a handsome, Kennedy-esque young man with aristocratic tastes but without the money to show for it. The first half of the novel focuses on how and why the murder takes place, while the second half is dedicated to the aftermath of Bunny’s death. Most striking is the novel’s obsession with beauty, blended with tributes to classical mythology. The characters view the world of the Ancient Greeks as the epitome of measured beauty and aspire towards their aesthetic ideals. Richard’s hamartia (‘fatal flaw’) is revealed to be ‘a morbid…Continue Reading

Beauty is Terror

PHYLLIS AKALIN reviews Beautiful Boy, Felix Van Groeningen’s testament to the Sheff’s family story. Based on the life stories of Nic Sheff (Timothée Chalamet) and his father, David Sheff (Steve Carrell), Beautiful Boy vividly portrays the struggles of addiction and recovery. Building from the memoirs of both, director Felix van Groeningen provides an intimate and authentic insight into a family life which has been tainted by the son’s addiction to crystal meth. Set in the stunning scenery of sunny California, the film follows David Sheff’s relentless efforts to understand and assist Nic. Flashbacks to Nic’s complex childhood, stained by his parents’ divorce, alternates with scenes from his late teenage years. We witness both David’s sleepless nights, burdened with paralysing fear for his son, and Nic’s cycle of recovery and relapse. This tumultuous father-son relationship forces us to question if one can ever love someone else enough to save them from…Continue Reading

Beautiful Boy

ENERZAYA GUNDALAI reflects on the role of technology in art through the Saatchi Gallery’s most recent exhibitions. Nothing can escape the glare of blue light in our digital age. Blue light emanates from every computer, smartphone and television screen. Most will agree that these technologies have become inseparable from our daily existence. Contemporary art has kept pace with these developments. At the Saatchi Gallery, Georgii Uvs utilised ultraviolet (UV) light as a central component in his arwork; within a neighbouring exhibition space, the digital art studio and collective Marshmallow Laser Feast employed virtual reality (VR) headsets in their installation, We live in an Ocean of Air. Both artist and art collective manipulated light through the vehicle of technology in order to shift (and to some extent, control) the viewer’s perspective. Was it the artists’ aim in their use of artificial light to illuminate the direction of fine art in the…Continue Reading

Bluelight

HEATHER DEMPSEY delves into the cult of ‘bad films’ through the example of Tommy Wiseau’s famously mediocre take on the love-triangle. ‘Right, I’m just going out to get some spoons, and then when I get back we’ll go over the rules.’ With this perplexing statement I was left standing bewildered in the kitchen of my flat, clutching a G&T, wondering what exactly I’d agreed to participate in as I heard the click of the closing front door. It was the long-awaited evening of our flat night out to one of the Prince Charles Cinema’s infamous screenings of The Room, the inexplicable cinematic clusterfuck spawned by Tommy Wiseau. Widely acknowledged as the ‘so bad it’s good’ film to rule them all, it has accumulated a sizeable cult following since its 2003 release. In 2009, the fan-favourite cinema, much loved for its themed all-nighters and special screenings, begun hosting Rocky-Horror-style participation showings…Continue Reading

The Room at The Prince Charles

DANIEL LUBIN covers Elizabeth Rosner’s talk at Jewish Book Week 2019. This year will mark 74 years since the end of the Holocaust, nearly a lifetime. Its legacy is prominent: in textbooks, in memorials, and, for some, in memories. But where else does the Holocaust linger? American writer Elizabeth Rosner addressed just this issue and more while discussing her 2017 book Survivor Café with psychotherapist Jane Haynes at Jewish book Week. Rosner engaged with not just the vivid ways in which the Holocaust survives in the consciousnesses of those directly or indirectly affected, but how trauma is universally inherited across generations. Rosner is consistently calm and articulate while discussing deeply personal histories that are not easy to carry. Born and raised in New York, she is the child of two Holocaust survivors. But ‘survivor’ is a term she uses in want of a better word. Much of Rosner’s discussion highlights…Continue Reading

Survivor Cafe: The Legacy of Trauma

ENERZAYA GUNDALAI presents the highlights of UCL MODO Fashion Society’s 2019 Show: SENSES. Under the railway vaults of London’s Steel Yard, SENSES showcased MODO’s latest designs. But I, along with the enchanted crowd, was met with more than just clothes; otherworldly beings seemed to surface, governing the living realm for a moment or two. Nathan Vandevelde opened with his two-part exuberant series entitled ‘Spirit Jungle’ and ‘Spirit Jungle pt 2.’ Ethereal sea nymphs took their first steps on land in ‘Spirit Jungle’. They moved gracefully across the runway. Four drag queens with their airy gowns and delicate face masks were prominent features in ‘pt. 2.’ Their bodies were spotlit and dressed in shimmery, figure-hugging tunics. Vandevelde’s tribute to the LGBTQ+ community was both empowering and spectacular in kaleidoscopic ways. While ‘Spirit Jungle’ was dramatic and provocative, it was Vandevelde’s line ‘Soul Searchers’ that made its appearance during the second half…Continue Reading

Sense Me

ESTELLE CIESLA discusses dematerialisation in Yves Klein’s International Klein Blue (IKB). An unframed, unwavering blue painting stands before you. As you stare at the painting, the square of colour slowly detaches itself from its canvas medium, drifting through the air. All at once, blue envelops you, permeates you. Chills crawl under your skin. The ultramarine induces a state of vertigo. An endless, deep, and obsessive ultramarine possesses you; its saturation stains your mind. My first encounter with a Yves Klein painting was decidedly dramatic. Encountering his painting in his hometown of Nice, France, my fascination with the strong, vivid blue was instantaneous. I speak about a specific blue: blue #21177d, otherwise known as International Klein Blue (IKB). The colour is distinctive; once seen, IKB will stay in your mind. The vivid ultramarine became Klein’s signature. The holistic feeling of Klein’s work is palpable every time I come across one of…Continue Reading

Dip-Trip

THOMAS NGUYEN interviews Sharon Yip and Magda Tchorek-Bentall, the director and curator of UCL Anatomy Society’s first-ever art exhibition, Disjointed Anatomies. On Saturday 2nd March, the UCL Anatomy Society will be holding its first-ever art exhibition around the theme: ‘Disjointed Anatomies’. For an entire day, the South Cloisters will transform into a curated display of intersectional works from student of all academic backgrounds. Each artwork will showcase a unique interpretation of the anatomical body. Sharon (Exhibition Director) and Magda (Curator) share their thoughts: Talk me through your roles in organising Saturday’s exhibition. Sharon: We started this project last year when I was elected exhibition director at the AGM of the Anatomy Society. This role did not exist before so I’ve had the freedom to make it – just like the exhibition – largely what I wanted it to be. I started thinking about it in June last year and the concept…Continue Reading

Disjointed Anatomies

A poem by SIMRAN DIVATIA. I stand, firm believer In the concept of self love, A hypocrite. A fraud, Cannot help But compare myself, To ‘prettier’ girls With skinnier waists And smaller thighs, I think we are all full Of positive advice, Until we’re talking To our reflections, And can’t meet our own eyes. Featured image by Flood G, source: Flickr. 

Hypocrite

KRISTIE LUI examines works from Hyon Gyon’s solo exhibition at the Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art. Scorched holes in fabric reveal layers of burnt turpentine in Hyon Gyon’s thick impasto paint. Her subjects are abstract and emotional. They manifest in an explosive portrayal of energy which combines the use of Korean textiles, Japanese paper, and haunting symbolism. Hyon Gyon is a South Korean painter who received her doctorate from the Kyoto City University of Fine Arts, before going on to practice in New York City in 2013 where she began her indefinite residency. Encompassing two floors in the minimalist space at London’s Parasol Unit Foundation for Contemporary Art, her work comprises of both two and three-dimensional artworks. Gyon’s compositions produce colourful motifs of spirits and demons proliferating ceaselessly across an abstract background. Her works often bridge imageries of the spirit world of Korean or Japanese shamanism, with the human…Continue Reading

Incarnate

A prose piece by THOM WAITE. I am all memory. Nothing but. I am not limbs, eyes, ears; not sound, nor texture, nor sight; not present nor conceivable future; not light, nor dark, nor wide plain or cramped cell. I could be wheeled out again in the garden, where they place me; I could be falling in void; I feel air neither rushing nor cool and still, or sense the summer scents of dust and grass. But that is to look back, to memory, all that I am: To the left, a brook, babbling, and another great susurrus, but separate: oak woods I remember, played by the breeze. And more: one’s children playing about their chair, sometimes laughing, sometimes singing a more known music, their own melodies tangling together. And the brook sibilant in its passage, plosive in its falls back upon itself and pebbles dislodged, and bark, and leaves,…Continue Reading

Falling