Review: The Last Bookshop

Independent bookshops are a dying race, callously destroyed by online purchases and dooming their owners to disillusioning profit losses. However, on 25 Walton Street, a survivor determinedly battles on. The Last Bookshop, providing quaint mint-green tables outside for those who wish to read with a coffee, and a perpetual deal of two books for five […]

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Would Rembrandt have approved of Pollock?: Mockery in the contemporary art industry

Contemporary, abstract art is either appreciated or mocked. Picture yourself in a reputable art gallery, surrounded by timeless, priceless High Renaissance paintings and Pre-Raphaelites; their composition, their techniques and the explicit narrative are utterly exquisite. Imagine your gaze transitioning upwards and landing upon the spectacular Rembrandt ‘The Night Watch”. Its immense, almost overwhelming size, occupies […]

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Oil paintings and iPhone photos: is Instagram the new still life?

It’s mid-June. I’ve just sat my A-levels, and have been whisked away on a family holiday to the world’s cultural epicentre – Florence. Like most tourists, I find myself on a pilgrimage to one of the city’s many cultural trophies: Raphael’s Madonna della seggiola housed in the Palazzo Pitti. What we are confronted with is […]

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Hannah Ryggen, Trump, and the role of media

If just one image epitomizes Trump’s recently concluded tour of Asia, it will be this one: a photo that captures a blockish Yank unceremoniously dumping food into a Japanese goldfish pond, the hosts hiding their horror behind gritted smiles. This was cheap fodder for the liberal media, who quickly lambasted Trump for everything from his […]

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8 fast facts about the 2017 Venice Biennale

Ace the numbers This is already the 57th Venice Biennale. This year, the exhibition has 120 invited artists (85% first-time participants) spanning across a variety of themes such as “Artists and Books”, “Joy and Fear”, “Traditions” and “Colors”. With 86 national pavilions, Antigua and Barbuda, Kiribati and Nigeria are the “freshers” of the event. It […]

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20 years of Harry Potter: the series for everyone

In late June this year, J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter turned 20 years old. Just as some of the books’ earliest fans begin to reach adulthood, the series itself has entered a new phase of its existence. Over the years since The Philosopher’s Stone was first published, Harry Potter has undergone an epic transformation, growing from […]

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Arts at Brainchild: An Interview with Lily Bonesso

Brainchild, set up by a group of friends in 2012, is a festival popping with creative attractions. Held in July at the brilliantly eccentric Bentley Wildfowl and Motor Museum, whose beautiful steam train puffs and toots on a railway track which circles outside the festival space, Brainchild really is one of a kind. Unlike at […]

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Post-Documenta 14, what happens now?

Since Documenta 14 departed from Athens in mid-July, there has been little done to support the foundations laid by this contemporary art celebration and address the issues highlighted. As the summer months roll on, Athenians have begun to leave the mainland for their summer holidays, as one is incapacitated by the stagnant heat. “Nothing happens […]

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Alberto Giacometti at Tate Modern: ‘I paint and sculpt to get a grip on reality’

In the first large-scale retrospective of his work in the UK in 20 years, Tate Modern exhibition of Giacometti charts his creative development throughout his turbulent lifetime. Alberto Giacometti is one of the most significant artists of the twentieth century, with virtuoso command on different mediums ranging from plaster, wood and bronze sculptures to paintings. […]

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Art with heart: Supporting artists from Oxford’s homeless population

Nationwide, rough sleeping in England has increased by 134% between 2010 and 2015. Oxford has historically had high levels of homelessness with around 55 people counted as rough sleeping in the city at the last official count. Oxford’s homelessness problem partly stems from housing issues: it is the most unaffordable place to live in the […]

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