In Defence of Sentimentality

The concept of 'stopping to smell the roses' is perhaps a cliche. But as I get older, I continue to learn the importance of reflection and sentimentality.

Today, I could smell Summer. I was confronted by the familiar feel of warm skin and the looming end of the school year.  My unexpected lunch date with the British heat made me realise how quickly the last few months have passed.

September marked the beginning of a frantic, but pretty magical period for me. And it has flown by. I can't begin to recount all the events of the last eight months because it's been so densely packed, I wouldn't even know where to begin. But to give you a few highlights - multiple drama productions, exams, probably 50 cheese toasties from the nearby cafe and maybe 70 black coffees, social events, art coursework, an MUN conference, and a lot of books. One thing ends, the next begins, with no time to reflect on what just happened.

I can be painfully nostalgic at times. Now that my penultimate school year is drawing to a close, I can't escape the subtle ache at the months that have passed. But I think it's important to be sentimental, especially in your teenage years. That sentimentality preserves your most influential experiences in the form of journal entries and photographs. It causes you to store ticket stubs and birthday cards, so that in months or even years time you can trigger memories of a vivid and meaningful time, and feel everything all over again.

You'll cringe at your haircut, feel cold at the photo of you hugging a now stranger, and long for the days of living at home. But it will help you remember and understand how you came to get where you are.

nyc get ready with me - video

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The Whitney Biennial

The Whitney museum in downtown Manhattan opened it's biennial exhibition in mid-March. I spent a morning exploring during my recent escape to NYC, and the diverse collection did not disappoint. The museum of American art used the exhibition as a way to showcase and challenge the tumultuous times in which we are living. America is currently experiencing the consequences of a political curve ball which is magnifying deep social divisions as well as creating new ones. The aim of the exhibition was to amplify unheard voices and reflect on the complexities of today's America through art. It spanned a huge variety of mediums, including conventional oil painting, large installations, and film and photography. Each piece had a concept and a story, effectively provoking conversation - just as art should. A standout piece for me was Samara Golden's site-specific installation. A clever use of mirrors and a balcony created an infinite portrayal of contrasting worlds. There were four miniature rooms decorated in different ways to evoke a different tone. One felt clinical, like a poorly kept institution, another showed a space of luxury. I could have looked at it for hours despite it's slightly unsettling nature. Check out this feature by the Whitney to hear the artist describe it in more detail.

A New York Minute

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Watch above or click HERE. Enjoy! 

The Boat Race

Every year, the universities Oxford and Cambridge race on the river Thames. It's a classic British celebration, usually a glorified excuse to drink pimm's and wear shorts. Nonetheless, for me it always marks the start of Summer. I'm lucky enough to have a close friend, Alice, who lets me join her on her balcony every year. We watch the hoards of people lining the river banks as far as the eye can see and eagerly await the moment the boats come past. It makes London a delightful place to be.