ARTY 39: Oh! You Pretty Things

Autumn / Winter 2017/18

Launch: Saturday 30 September 2017
at Sluice Biennial, 131 Morning Lane, London E9

Oh! You Pretty Things is of course the title of a Bowie song. Beyond and above this cultural milestone the 'pretty' tag is a marker of femininity and for this reason it has traditionally been deemed a frivolous subject. Part of this demonisation lies in pretty's connection with surface, which is associated with the shallow and meaningless. In 2011 film academic Rosalind Galt wrote Pretty: Film and the Decorative Image, in which she outlined how colour and images in general have been deemed as superficial and inferior by male critics. Pretty has, she says, been marked down as 'a pleasing surface for an unsophisticated audience.' But there is no reason why pretty can't be both complex, serious and appealing, which is what we intend to show in this issue of Arty.

The exhibition Oh! You Pretty Things at the 2017 Sluice Biennial, which accompanies the launch of this issue, examines the sentimental object, the forgotten, overlooked and fetishized memory; exploring how painting can be a process for remembering and transformation. Playing with scale, the paintings in the exhibition elevate common, small and somewhat mundane objects and reassert the personal to highlight the often belittled realms of the feminine, romantic and homely.


The issue features Sofia Coppola's Knickers, Bowie's Hunky Dory, RuPaul's Drag Race, Kitschy Cats, Jazmin Bean, Pretty Painting, Mirror Gazing, Blaschka Glass and more

Glass Jellyfish by Annabel Dover


The contributors to Arty 39 are: Hannah Murgatroyd, Rose Bradshaw, Alli Sharma, Annabel Dover, Cathy Lomax, Julie Lobalzo Wright, Sarah Cleaver, Steve Lomax, Alex Michon, Paige Perkins, Christina Yuna Ko, Kirsty Buchanan



Arty 39 is available from Transition Gallery & the following stockists and costs £4

or buy online:

Arty 39 + UK Shipping

Arty 39 + Rest of the World Shipping (£4)


See other issues of Arty here