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Interview: Kia from Nudes By Kia

As part of RAZZ’s SHAG Week, Caitlin Barr had the privilege of interviewing creator Kia, the founder of the queer owned UK business Nudes By Kia, which turns “people’s own nudes into wearable art”. Caitlin and Kia spoke about the genesis of their business, and why they think that reclaiming and celebrating your body is so important. Their discussion follows: Continue reading Interview: Kia from Nudes By Kia

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From ‘The Birth of Venus’ to ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’: A History of Yonic Art

The vagina has been a very popular subject for artists throughout history, from ancient sculptures to modern art installation, the vagina has, and probably always will be, a well of artistic inspiration. But for those with vaginas, how does this art affect how womxn are perceived and treated in society as a whole? Continue reading From ‘The Birth of Venus’ to ‘The Great Wall of Vagina’: A History of Yonic Art

i just woke up from the worst night of my life. i am twenty years old. i live in a city called Riverside, another city in the west. i am not from here. i come from Africa, the eastern part of Ethiopia, if you must know. i am here for school, attending college. and last night, last night was the darkest of nights for me. i am most certain the devil visited me. it hugged, kissed and did not let me sleep until my whole self gave up to its unsolicited caress. somethings are true. fear, anxiety, devil, evil, these things are true. they are for everyone in some ways, but until they happen to you, it is easy to believe they are not true. some crazed minds made them up to scare others. because until they happen to you for real, the idea of thinking about them is fun, enjoyable, giggly. but not last night. not when my lonely room shrunk to six inches, and in the midst of gasping for breath, in the midst of my extreme exhaustion, i was still keeping a tab on my eyes not to close themselves – because i did not trust them anymore. that i would not wake up if i let them shut. that the devil, in its grotesque gaze, was waiting for me to make this mistake for a split second, so it manifests itself all over my naked body in winter – sweating in winter, in a cold room.
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Reading Corner: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

My sister and I gave The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse to our mum for Christmas – a wise present it turns out, seeing as I’ve now read it more times than she has. Looking at it again this past week has been a comforting escape. The book is formed from a collection of beautifully expressive ink illustrations with handwritten words, stitched together by a gently anchoring narrative. We follow four friends: an inquisitive boy who asks questions about the world and ponders his relationships with the others; a mole full of reassuring words, whose thoughts are also largely occupied by cake (which makes for some of my favourite moments); a fox who is reserved and quiet because of their past, yet loved by the others no matter what; and a wise horse who reveals an ability to fly. The story’s subtle linearity stitches the order of the pages together, but you don’t need to read it cover to cover. Each page is an isolated piece of art and storytelling in its own right, so dip in and dip out; you’ll never be lost in the story. Continue reading Reading Corner: The Boy, The Mole, The Fox and The Horse by Charlie Mackesy

Review: RAMM Lates

Last Friday night I went to the RAMM for just the second time since I’ve lived in Exeter. As an English student and exhibition lover, I find it strange that there is such a valuable resource in the centre of town that I have never used. The RAMM Lates event highlighted the fact that the RAMM is a great resource that has real relevance to the student community. Museums allow us to experience culture up close and without the filter of computer screens that we have become accustomed to. After learning about Native American culture and history last term I found it eye-opening to be able to see firsthand authentic artefacts – such as traditional clothing and weapons – from Native American culture. So surely this is a resource we should all be using more often? Continue reading Review: RAMM Lates

Review: Re:Claimed Fashion Show

On Saturday night, I walked into Unit 1 at 6:45 (truly the earliest I think I have ever set foot there), excited for a night of fashion. The main dance floor had been filled with chairs, set up to include a runway right through the middle. We took our seats, second row from the front – the front rows were reserved for the designers responsible for the garments we were about to see grace the runway (this was the moment when I felt like I really was at a real fashion show). The Re:Claimed Fashion show, put on by Exeter Fashion Society, aimed to showcase local and student ethical, sustainable brands with a focus on celebrating the diversity and creativity of the sustainable fashion industry. The show promised a celebration of fashion’s creativity, as well as performances from URBN Dance, Pole Fitness, Breakdance, Dance Society and Mishaal Javed. Continue reading Review: Re:Claimed Fashion Show

Illustrated Vogue Italia: An Environmentally Conscious Approach

If you asked the general person what they picture when they imagine a Vogue cover, for many the same portrait would spring to mind: a perfectly shot photograph printed on glossy paper, peeping through the other magazines at the airport or newsagent. However, Vogue Italia has totally shaken up this image with their January 2020 edition, scrapping the photoshoot for one edition only, instead filling the magazine cover-to-cover with illustrations. Conde Nast, Vogue’s publishing company, announced in a press release that the purpose of this move was sustainability. Continue reading Illustrated Vogue Italia: An Environmentally Conscious Approach

Arty Nudes

There goes the age-old art centric debate; what constitutes nude and what naked? Nudity is often viewed as the artful posing of the naked human form, whereas nakedness is often perceived as more vulnerable, unrefined and bare – in such a sense nudity is often elevated to a higher artistic and cultural standing, with nakedness being largely associated with censorship and stigmatisation. The terms are often used interchangeably, and while this may not be 100% linguistically correct, I would argue that it is important to destigmatise the taboos surrounding nakedness; a naked body is just that, whether it can be perceived as sexually attractive should not be central to the manner in which we address it. As demonstrated, both words mean the unclothed human body, so how did such a differentiation in contextual understanding occur? Art critic John Berger previously argued the meaning of the nude has changed over the years; in his 1972 book ‘Ways of Seeing’  he says that the nude has been continuously utilised to portray the female body in a manner that is sexually pleasing to the viewer, whereas a ‘naked’ piece of art depicts a sitter embodying their own space and pleasure. Whether this is true is dependent on the subjective opinion of the viewer, something that has undoubtedly changed throughout history. Continue reading Arty Nudes