The founders designed this map which chronicles the zine's development.Hendrikje Dorussen and Hannah Beresford

As you flick through this first issue of Sentire, you’ll notice a quote from Kafka’s The Metamorphosis flitter by in the right pages’ top right hand corner, evolving in style and colour as the sections of the zine progress. It’s an artistic piece made incorporate in itself, a form of flip-book animation that dances as you engage with the poetry, artwork, writing which underpins the zine. The succession of the themes ‘Dreams’, ‘Transformed’, ‘Giant’ and ‘Insect’, alluded to in founders Hannah Beresford and Hendrijke Dorussen’s cryptic publicity, is derived from this image of evolution. It finds a new grounding in this series of student art and writing, which explores an amalgamation of experiences related to these evocative and emotive ideas.

"With its arrangement and observation you gain a real sense of resignation to its infinite possibilities"

Sentire’s glossy and impactful block-colour aesthetic is maintained throughout this issue; the earthiness of the green and cream offset by a more fantastical pink giving way to the combination of literal and figurative interpretations of the theme. The Editor’s Note, imposed on a page of notebook paper and adorned with stars, is endearing, and conveys a sense of personal curation. Indeed, whilst the multiple themes which preface each section may seem arbitrary in the division of pieces, the delineations between them likens itself to a diary in their episodic outlook which is interesting and somewhat unique when compared to anthologies that seek one unifying subject.

'Dream Log' by Kelly Wu

We begin with ‘Dreams’, which excites with its diverse mediums, reflecting the aesthetic scope the concept suggests. Both intensely individual pieces as well as ones more universal in nature are collected alongside each other. Kelly Wu’s ‘Dream Log’ is raw and authentic, presenting her dreams in sketches and fragments of thoughts. Dorussen and Beresford experiment with the formatting and overlapping of pieces, as is the case with Iz Maxwell’s ‘Casting (B)’ and Jack Heath’s poem, ‘Late-summer daydream’. Maxwell’s use of colour has a mystic quality to it, mirroring the dazed and reflective tone of Heath’s poem. ‘Dreams’ is one of the more cohesive sections; with its arrangement and observation you gain a real sense of resignation to its infinite possibilities. 

'A Deeper Magic Still' by Bernie Carter

As we move to ‘Transformed’, we’re met with a beautiful print by Bernie Carter, who also contributes ‘In The Dream House’ to the previous section. The climbing flowers are accompanied by thorns, which in their stark black ink, feel fluid as they move across the page, transformed. ‘Descent into a Valley’ by Matthew Palatnik plays with decay, warping, and transfiguration; his “colored-paper dreams” embody and echo the meditations of the entire zine. This section also experiments with form and length, with the poem ‘Jack o’ Lantern’ by Isabel Dempsey invested in the idea of “searching, scooping, scraping” within and beyond the text itself. Visually, ‘Transformed’ has unlimited potential, and this is perhaps acknowledged by how dense and extensive the contributions are. Connor Harrison Phillips’ ‘Entropy’ and ‘Butter’, also featured in Varsity, consider how transformation is as tactile as it is visual, using light and surrealist elements to compliment the zine’s connection to metamorphosis. 

"It’s certainly a collection of work which anthologises feeling"

‘Giant’ is perhaps a little understated by the relative lack of content. Whilst the quantity may not portray a sense of immensity as might be expected, it does contain a series of powerful moments. ‘Craters’ by Margherita Volpato is as fantastical as it is nihilistic; her description of the “perennial dance of time” stuns in the poem’s opening lines, and her apocalyptic closing leaves an impression parallel to its title. Several of the pieces here consider ‘Giant’ as a perspective: monkey bars and mountains are treated with equal wonder. Notably absent from the overall zine however is the presence of photography, which bears so many qualities that appear conducive to portraying Sentire’s themes. However, Dorussen does provide ‘Giant Tree’, a quieting grey-scale photograph which faithfully captures its subject in all its branched excess. 

Sentire’s first issue closes with the most eccentric of all its sections, as would be expected from the strangeness of ‘Insect’. It is vibrant and eclectic, Isobel Dinic’s ‘Metamorphosis’ using a more unconventional art form – a projected image of a butterfly upon a back – to capture the imaginative qualities of Sentire’s grounding allusion. Much of the art here is playful and bizarre; Juliette Guéron-Gabrielle’s ‘Josephine’ interrogating the notion of the spider through an evolving tone which mediates between amusement and existentialism. Beresford’s ‘Bug Burlesque’ is particularly apt to the idiosyncratic and fun aspect of ‘Insect’, combining two incongruous ideas in a collection of delicate sketches. 

In many ways, the succession of themes is seamless – in originating from the same ideas explored in The Metamorphosis, Sentire’s first edition synthesises previously connected ideas, but by orienting them to student-produced art, transforms it. The zine’s quality, as well as its sincerity, is impressive for its first edition, and it feels strongly cohesive and fresh. Feeling is central to the zine’s concept, with ‘Sentire’ derived from the Latin ‘to feel’ – and it’s certainly a collection of work which anthologises feeling.


Mountain View

Postcards from Europe

Sentire will be hosting a launch party for their first issue on the 9th of March at The Grain and Hop Store. You can RSVP to the event here.  The zine’s website can be found here. Their social media can be found at these links: Facebook, Instagram.

Varsity was kindly provided with a copy of the zine for the purpose of this review.