75 years of Palatinate and arts journalism

By and

The past 75 years have witnessed remarkable changes across arts and culture. From developments in the latest film technologies to the way in which we access our music, the arts have become increasingly accessible. Whilst the Indigo we know today didn’t actually come into existence until 2008 (though fifteenth anniversary celebrations may be on the horizon…), throughout Palatinate’s history the arts have always been a powerful element of the paper’s output.

Elements of this edition’s design aim to hark back to past iterations of the magazine

This edition of Indigo aims to celebrate 75 years of the paper, from the magazine’s myriad of engaging front covers to past Editors-in-Chief that have gone on to pursue careers in arts journalism. Elements of this edition’s design aim to hark back to past iterations of the magazine. From the small black and white symbols that proliferated the pages of sense, to the coloured columns from 2010s editions of Indigo.

This is not your typical fortnightly edition of Indigo

The intention behind this edition’s front and back covers is to highlight our myriad of talented student illustrators, photographers and editors, both past and present. This is not your typical fortnightly edition of Indigo; rather this special edition acts as a time capsule, delineating the history of art journalism throughout the last two decades, and the ways in which art journalism has simultaneously evolved alongside culture itself. Our brilliant section editors have used this special edition as an opportunity to explore both the progress of the paper, the arts and Durham over the past 75 years.

From Interview’s insightful discussion with former Editor-in-Chief, Tim Alden, on page 14, to Visual Arts’ focus on old sense covers on page 7, this extended edition of Indigo is a true celebration of everything our editors, both past and present, have achieved.

Artwork of the Week, James Macfarlane

If you’re a fan of 2000s magazine culture don’t look further than Indigo’s very own predecessor, sense. Establishing its presence as Palatinate’s original glossy arts and lifestyle magazine, sense properly began on 12 May 2000 under editors Tim Bradshaw and Jules Fossett. The first edition is full of 2000s nostalgia, featuring a review of Gladiator and an interview with Guy Berryman, the bassist from Coldplay. Predominantly printed in black and white with an edgy sprinkle of lower-case, the first edition is definitely striking in comparison to today’s Indigo.

The first edition is full of 2000s nostalgia

One of the most interesting aspects of sense’s content is the magazine’s editorials. Split between ‘him’ and ‘her’, each editor seemingly takes the opportunity to either rave or rant about a specific topic that has interested them that week. So, in the spirit of Palatinate’s 75th anniversary edition, Indigo Editors Charlotte and Cameron have taken this stroll down memory lane as an excuse to consider their own time on the paper.

Charlotte: To quote the protagonist from my favourite film: “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” I started writing for Palatinate as a fresher. Stuck in college accommodation in October 2020 I honestly didn’t have much else to do. After a solid number of articles under my belt I applied for Film & TV Editor on a whim over the Easter holidays. To my surprise, I got the role.

Editing the Film & TV section was one of the best experiences I could have asked for. I got the opportunity to work with incredible editors and writers. On top of that, my job was quite literally to read and write about the thing that interested me most. The role of a reviewer is to be critical but fair. To maintain an opinion, substantiated by evidence, that informs and potentially even entertains. I’ve read many questionable reviews from a range of different outlets in my time. Some intentionally and unnecessarily brutal. Others overly generous. Some of the best reviews I’ve read I’ve found scrolling on Letterboxd. Anyone can be a critic, in theory.

Since becoming Indigo Editor this January, I’ve had the pleasure of engaging with critical conversations across the artistic spectrum and I know that Indigo will maintain this over the next 75 years.

sense’s first edition, 12 May 2000

Cameron: Since joining Indigo as Visual Arts Editor back in January last year, I have learnt to absolutely lean into and to embrace my artistic side. I’ve had the opportunity to write articles on subjects such as how artificial intelligence is being used to bring colour back to the statues of Ancient Greece, the beauty found within the art of the grotesque, and the portrayal of love in Botticelli’s Primavera

I remember the first ever article I edited was on ‘Britain’s most insightful royal portraits’, the first ever illustration I commissioned was for an article on the digitalisation of history’s most renowned artworks. The first ever print edition I helped edit was a piece on love’s meaning throughout the ages as depicted in art. I was learning how to use WordPress, attempting to navigate the technicalities of Adobe InDesign and endeavouring to figure out how on earth to photoshop an image. Just a little over a year ago, I was experiencing all of my journalistic ‘firsts’ and now I am one of two editors overseeing Palatinate’s arts and lifestyle magazine, which is still utterly surreal to write. Despite still being in its infancy, Indigo, which turns fifteen this October, has already undergone many artistic evolutions, and I greatly appreciate the fact I get to be a part of this new landmark chapter.

Artwork of the Week: James Macfarlane

Image Credit (from top): Cameron Beech,

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