Power of Experimentation:
The December / January Issue

Power of Experimentation:<br>The December / January Issue

I like those serendipitous moments in life. It’s the recognition of cause and effect – what you set out to do can be very different to where you end up. It’s that idea of the journey being more important than the destination. It has been a big year for Aesthetica, as the magazine celebrated 20 years of independent publishing. We founded it with three pillars: equality, creativity and diversity, and they’re still true today. I was 22 when I set up this organisation and so, in many ways, I grew up with it. I find it rather emotional because I look back and see all the time, hard work and determination that it took to make this happen. We’ve made a contribution to visual culture and curation with events like the Aesthetica Film Festival. I am honoured to spend each and every day with innovators, makers and creators. It keeps me invigorated. Inside this issue we are spotlighting artists who demonstrate the power of creative thinking.

Radiant Geography | Rock formations, volcanic geology and verdant foliage are key to Tom Leighton’s photographs, which traverse holographic and gleaming pools.

Meaning in Collage | Pictures of coffee cups, mirrors, water jugs and headphones are each folded up and distorted into Jooeun Bae’s deeply personal montages.

Striking Landforms | The Gobi Desert is listed amongst the top 10 largest in the world. Jonas Daley’s landscapes capture its imposing rocky mountain ranges.

Beyond Portraiture | Morgan Otagburuagu is standing up against colourism. He amplifies the beauty of darker skin with portraits of Black women pioneers.

Crafting a Memory | Es Devlin explodes the status-quo, pushing artistic boundaries between literature, stage and set design in a major New York exhibit.

Evocative Storytelling | Polina Washington has a background in film cinematography. Light and colour are key to her work, where a lone sunbeam tells a story.

Message in the Sky | Drones are being harnessed by artists and photographers to light up the sky with new perspectives. Reuben Wu is one such name.

Richness of Colour | Andrea Torres Balaguer’s bold photographic portraits could be mistaken for oil paintings, rendered in garnet reds and emerald greens.

Visions of the Future | NGV Triennial calls for collective activity in the face of climate crisis, with John Gerrard’s ominous flags reflecting on the oil industry.

Layered Creativity | Collage has a long history, spanning more than 100 years and seeing big change. Julie Cockburn is part of its contemporary story.

Click here to discover the December / January Issue.

Subscribe & Save 40% + Free Gift Wrap + Message | 12 Months for £24.95

Image credits:

1. Andrea Torres Balaguer, Marmalade (2018).

2. Tom Leighton, Threshold, (2023). Image courtesy the artist.

3. Jooeun Bae, Mono Phone Charger, from Mono- (2021).

4. Jooeun Bae, Different Lives but Same Thoughts, from Colorful Scissors (2021).

5. Jonas Daley, from Black Gobi, (2020). Image courtesy the artist.

6. Morgan Otagburuagu. Black Warrior I (2022). Courtesy of the artist and Doyle Wham.

7. Morgan Otagburuagu. Black Warrior II (2022). Courtesy of the artist and Doyle Wham.

8. Pavilion design by Es Devlin. Image by Alin Constantin Photography.

9. Polina Washington, from Till The Light Separates Us (2023).

10. Polina Washington, from Till The Light Separates Us (2023).

11. Reuben Wu, from Lux Noctis (Ongoing project). Image courtesy of the artist.

12. Andrea Torres Balaguer Satin (2023).

13. Andrea Torres Balaguer Candle (2020).

14. John Gerrard, Western Flag (Spindletop,Texas) (2017-2019). Desert X / Coachella Valley, CA, USA. © Lance Gerber

15. The Author (2021). © Julie Cockburn. Hand embroidery on found photograph. Courtesy of Flowers Gallery, London.

16. Confidence (2021). © Julie Cockburn. Hand embroidery on found photograph. Courtesy of Hopstreet Gallery, Brussels.