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Contents Page: December 31, 2010, vol 6 no 4

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Helen Buckingham



Still Life

London's South Bank – a Sunday morning, early in September. My sisters and I are en route to Tate Modern. Midway along the Embankment we pause at a statue:  "Just look at that detail" we enthuse, gesturing from the base of the pedestal. "Incredible, isn't it? The pleats on the frock coat, that crease in his forehead..." Slowly the penny begins to drop. On the surface he gives nothing away, not so much as a trickle of sweat despite the burgeoning heat. We stare for a moment, open-mouthed, then fumble simultaneously for change before swiftly turning on our heels. Three weekend critics, off to join the queues among the dead and the not-so-dead. Stilled, for a second, by the living.

gallery cafe
over each tray
a fresh portrait 

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