Thursday, June 20Royal Holloway's offical student publication, est. 1986

Visual Arts

Hope to Nope?
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

Hope to Nope?

The Design Museum is situated on Kensington High Street, a beautiful building with fascinating exhibits inside. One recent exhibit looked at the graphic design aspects of political activism. Entitled ‘Hope to Nope: Graphics and Politics 2008 - 2018’, it sought to explore the evolving nature of design, particularly within the changing landscape of politics in the last decade. The exhibit showcased many beautiful designs, all likely familiar to those who have not only engaged in politics but simply logged onto Facebook in recent years. As soon as you walk in to the ‘Hope to Nope’ exhibit, after an odd descent down a steep staircase, you are greeted by a bright yellow wall, with an explanation for the exhibits existence. The explanation describes the “turbulent decade” we have experienced and...
Activism Gets A Makeover
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

Activism Gets A Makeover

Activism hasn’t always been the prettiest or the most aesthetically pleasing activity. The activist activities of marches and sit ins, often complete with their associated ‘grunge’, were not exactly the most photogenic. And whilst this old style activism is inspiring to those inclined to appreciate activists methods and beliefs – the appeal of activism can often be lost on may due to this less than sanitary image. So how do you go about cleaning up activisms image problem? Artivism is the word on every activist thinkers lips, a timely amalgamation of art and activism as though the two haven’t been deeply intertwined for decades that promises to bring us a hip, gentrified and altogether better looking kind of activism. Artivism can range from graffiti to political resistance posters and de...
In conversation with artist Ruth Fox
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

In conversation with artist Ruth Fox

I had the pleasure of meeting mixed media and contemporary artist Ruth Fox, and Steven Young with whom she collaborated, to discuss her most recent exhibition ‘A Most Awkward Divide.’ We met in Gallery 46 in Whitechapel, London, on the final day of her exhibition. After looking around the exhibition and being shown a few pieces by Ruth we went into the garden to talk about her work and body hunt campaign. ‘I’m looking at how we live online and how technology and science are kind of escalating to the point where it uses a lot of time out of our minds and we really don’t focus much on our bodies anymore. I think we are kind of losing sight of our individual physical identities and it’s affecting how we live. Did you have a personal experience with the mind/body divide? I think it...
The Top 5 Most Instagrammable Locations Near You
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

The Top 5 Most Instagrammable Locations Near You

You’ve returned to Royal Holloway after Christmas and to get back into the swing of uni life you need to find a way to show your friends and family just how much Royal Holloway slays. One setback: despite Holloway being the ‘University of London’, perhaps the most exciting thing outside of campus walls is Runnymede Chicken and Ribs. Never fear. Orbital has rounded up the very best spots, both on campus and the surrounding area, to fill your Instagram feed. Founder's Very cliché and predictable but, no matter how hard you try, you will not be able to avoid uploading a photo of the Victorian architecture from one of the numerous angles. There is no doubt that Founder's Building played a huge part in your decision to attend Royal Holloway. My personal favourite angle is from the bus sto...
The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2016
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

The Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2016

One of the biggest art events of the year is also one of the most accessible art exhibitions. Running until 21st August, this year’s Summer Exhibition is definitely worth a visit. The art world is often seen as impenetrable, pompous and downright confusing. The plethora of exhibitions and events that run every year often prove to be an intimidating and uncomfortable place to be for anyone who is not an art dealer themselves. Many times I have found myself stifling giggles at pieces that those around me find fascinating. There is one exception to this unwritten rule of the art world: the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition in London. This yearly event is open to all. All kinds of punters and all kinds of artists, and that is what makes it so special. Every year the Royal Academy accepts...
A sketchy situation
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

A sketchy situation

Joanne Archer investigates the prohibition of sketching in art galleries. Upon visiting an art gallery or museum, you would not be surprised to come across a ‘no photography’ sign, a widely accepted, but not always followed, symbol of a flashing camera that indicates guests might just be shot at if they dare so much as look in their bags for the snapping creature. A slightly unexpected uprising in the world of the arts however, is the ban on sketching in temporary exhibitions such as the V&A’s ‘Undressed: A Brief History of Underwear’. Most would assume that the reason that galleries ban photography is due to issues with work being reproduced. Sketching is defined as ‘a rough or unfinished drawing or painting, often made to assist in making a more finished picture’. It is virtual...
Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon

Ever wondered how life began for the fashion icon and infamous actress, Audrey Hepburn? From her traumatic upbringing in the German-occupied Netherlands to her overwhelming success in Hollywood and inspirational outreach work, get up-close and personal with some rarely seen photographs and prints donated by her family. This wonderful exhibition has been on at the National Portrait Gallery in London since 2nd July, but it hasn’t decreased in popularity. Do not fear, there's still just over a week left to experience this unique opportunity (finishing 18th October). Although likely to be very crowded, the enjoyment far outweighs pushing through groups of people when approaching a photograph. Learn about her dancing career, read about her iconic films and watch her striking style progres...
A Cultural Summer in the City
Culture & Literature, Film & TV, Theatre & Performance, Visual Arts

A Cultural Summer in the City

Having a cultured summer shouldn't entail breaking the bank. This summer has ample opportunities to get cultured for little to no money, all while still having fun! If you are looking for the perfect outdoor cinema experience this summer, Film4’s Summer Screen returns from the 6th to the 19th of August with an array of cult, classic and contemporary screenings, with new films selected to premiere throughout the event. Situated in the courtyard of Somerset House, London’s largest outdoor screen will begin the fortnight with the opening night premiere of ‘Gemma Bovery’ starring Gemma Arterton and close with the premiere of the Sundance Film Festival’s critical darling ‘Me and Earl and the Dying Girl’. From new releases to classic favourites including ‘The Silence of the Lambs’, ‘The Gradu...
Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

Savage Beauty, the exhibition celebrating the creations of the fashion designer Alexander McQueen, originally opened in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York in 2011, just a year after the designer’s high profile suicide. Now it has made the trip across the pond, and is currently occupying the V&A until August 2nd. The exhibition itself is immense, with well over 200 pieces on display and its popularity is astounding, with over 70,000 tickets have already been sold. The words ‘I’m a romantic schizophrenic’ are written on the wall as you enter the exhibition space- and it is very clear from the start that you have entered a world that is intelligently, fantastically mad. The curation of this space really brings this vision to life, with gold gilded mirrors reflecting romantic/gothi...
The feminist behind the flash
Culture & Literature, Visual Arts

The feminist behind the flash

Feminism as an ideology has snaked throughout all elements of the media, all the more prominently in the last couple of years. I use the word ideology, as Feminism unfortunately does not yet hold a quintessential place within modern societal norms. Photography as one of these media outlets, and one very close to my heart, has become an instrument through which the Romanticised image of woman can finally portray festivities of feminism as well as femininity. Francesca Woodman was a striking photographer who has always remained on my radar- a beautiful woman whose inner turmoil and intelligence sent her to her demise, yet during her shortened career, she was able to portray with conviction, the concept of hiding herself in plain sight. Her monochromatic self-portraits utilised rustic yet fam...