Andrew Sim, two rainbows and a forest of plants and trees (2024)

Urban nature is my favourite kind. Parks where ice cream is sold. Botanical gardens serving good coffee. Flower shows curated like art festivals. Tree lined streets leading to civic amenities. And, of course, residential gardens which allow metropolitan types to contemplate collections of plants, ready and to hand, like the…

Tyler Green, Carleton Watkins: Making the West American (2018)

Carleton Watkins made photographs that secured business deals for industrialists. He made photographs that offered conclusive scientific proof to geologists. He made photographs that were both commodities and souvenirs. And he even made photographs in order to give evidence in corporate law. Dominated thus by clients, Watkins is presented, in…

Interview: Paul Watson

An artist and I stand on the summit of Whitehawk Hill, atop the hidden remains of a neolithic encampment. He is dressed in black, and smokes actual cigarettes, as I might have expected. Beyond that I’ve little idea how this meeting, with one of Folklore Twitter’s dark luminaries is about…

Book review: White Sight, Nicholas Mirzoeff

Nineteenth century civic statues are so boring. Colourless, elevated, obscure, pompous, they have, for a very long time, eluded questioning. To topple one of these monuments, to go so far as to dump one into the sea, is to make the whatever bronze idol, appear to us fresh, and in…

Book: Mimesis: culture – art – society by Gunter Gebauer and Christoph Wulf

Whereas the word has its ancient Greek roots in ‘mime’ and is related to ‘mimicry’, mimesis is not mere imitation. As this book shows, there is enough meaning in the term to have kept philosophers chewing it over for the last two millennia. But the discussion remains vital because the…

Book: The Aesthetics of Mimesis: Ancient Texts and Modern Problems, by Stephen Halliwell

In my work in progress on Lascaux, Altamira and Chauvet it has not been easy to find a word with which to talk about the various representations of these painted caves. But, I was recently reminded of the word mimesis since it is one of the earliest art historical terms,…

Why is the Indian government locking up students?

For the last two and a half years I’ve been pursuing a PhD in Art History at the University of Sussex. In the last month, the fate of another Sussex alumni, Devangana Kalita, and several other students in India, has come to my notice, hence this blog post. Student protest:…