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It is Born Here I came to the very edge

where nothing at all needs saying,

everything is absorbed through weather and the sea, and the moon swam back, its rays all silvered,

and time and again the darkness would be broken by the crash of a wave,

and every day on the balcony of the sea, wings open, fire is born,

and everything is blue again like morning. — Pablo Neruda


ECHO MORGAN curated by Nico Kos Earle

“The power of profound meaning is found in blue… Blue is the typical heavenly colour. The ultimate feeling it creates is one of rest. When it sinks almost to black, it echoes a grief that is hardly human.” — Wassily Kandinsky, Bright Earth the Invention of Colour (pp. 260)

The Blue Edition marks the beginning of a cycle of events around the concept of blue, the most beguiling colour in the history of art. Ten artists have created works exclusively for this opening show - Andrea Hamilton, Carol Bruton, Nancy Cadogan, Dominique Gerolini, Azadeh Ghotbi, Suki Jobson, Emma Levine, Echo Morgan, Edwina Sandys, and Deborah Tarr - exploring the infinite variations of blue across a wide range of media. Their work highlights the extraordinary catalogue of emotions associated with the blue from joy to sadness, eroticism to purity, a connection with the world (sea, sky), and our increasing dependence on the blue light of our computer screens. Seen from space the earth is blue. It is a cool colour that recedes and increases our perspective outwards. Resonant in the distant hills and shadows, an artist uses blue to show perspective. Sometimes it is tinged with sorrow as in Picasso’s mournful Blue Period works, but it can also induce a sense of wonder. The great colourist Matisse used blue with exuberance, and Kandinsky believed “blue refers to the domain of abstraction and immateriality.” For the French monochromist Yves Klein, blue was freedom.

Apollo 8 Earth Rise (December 24, 1968) Photographic Print, NASA.

Our blue planet first came into view when William Anders took his iconic photograph Earth Rise, in 1968. Its clear skies and vast expanses of ocean are blue because of an optical effect known as Rayleigh scattering. When sunlight passes through the atmosphere, the blue wavelengths are scattered more widely by the oxygen and nitrogen molecules. This is because light is not an activating principle of colour, nor a vehicle for colour, but the medium of colour itself. Made up of electromagnetic particles that travel in waves, blue light has a short wavelength between 380nm and 500nm. It is the frequency of these vibrating waves that determines the colour of light. Therefore most of the blue we see is caused by a scattering of blue light: swimming pools, open skies, a butterfly’s wings or the iridescent tail of a peacock. As opposed to scattered blue light, blue minerals like azurite and lapis lazuli are blue because of copper or other elements in their atomic structure. Natural elements give materials their resonant vibration, one that absorbs light waves on the same frequency. When light reaches an object it strips out colour from the spectrum it is in tune with. What we see are the rejected frequencies (colours) that do not correspond. The colour we see in pigment - in paintings and photographs - is a phenomena that is governed by a material’s specific frequency. In order to show blue an artist has to pick materials that are actively in tune with blue. However until the discovery of ultramarine, vibrant blue pigments were rare and difficult to find. As Philip Ball points out in Bright Earth: the Invention of Colour, “The use of colour in art is determined at least as much by the artist’s personal inclinations and cultural context as by the materials to hand…. In the end, each artist makes his or her own contract with the colours of the time.” An artist never uses blue, she uses cobalt blue or Prussian blue, ultramarine or cerulean. The artists in this show display a unique use of media, one that resonates with their intuitive sense of colour. They have been repeatedly drawn to blue, and developed their signature blue. The Blue Edition brings together the best of blue, showcasing the endless and evolving possibilities of this extraordinary hue. Blue takes us into the sublime. “As basic rules of a language must be practiced continually, and therefore are never fixed, so exercises toward distinct colour effects never are done or over. New and different cases will be discovered time and time again.” — Josef Albers

ANDREA HAMILTON “Blue is the most democratic of colours. Universally liked, it reflects the human relationship to our natural

surroundings. The sky and the sea surround us; we consistently look to blue for the very assurance of our own mortality. “

Award-winning artist Andrea Hamilton uses the camera as a tool for enquiry into the nature of our existence. Her contemplative and timeless images invite us to probe beneath the surface of things, and reflect on universal

constants like time, the seasons, and our own mortality. Andrea’s practice is studied and systematic: her repetitive documentation of subjects, in particular the sea, leads to the development of series that interact like families of

tones or motifs. Repeatedly, she returns to the sea as image source, and has developed three distinct lines of enquiry: the wave, the surface and the horizon.

Andrea’s solo exhibition with Delahunty Gallery Water Works, and monograph AH2O, focused on the nature of the

wave: each one individual and yet all belonging to one body of water. Her series Luminous Landscapes celebrates the mutable, adaptable surface of water, sculpted by the elements. In the series Line to Plane a central horizon becomes the focus: it is an image that invites us into the moment. Loved by artists like Turner, Richter, Rothko and

Gursky, the horizon line brings us face to face with the limits of self understanding. We cannot see past it and so we must transcend it.

Underpinning all three series is a spectacular body of work that counts more than 16,000 photographic images. The Colour of Time is taken over 25 years from the same vantage point looking out to sea. Andrea is documenting the Kelvin scale: how light changes colour according to temperature. Each image celebrates the unique resonance

of light in a single moment. The accumulative effect of observing this chromatic variation takes us beyond time, perhaps even to the beginning of time.

The Colour of Time, 2016, pigment prints, 120 x 150 cm.

CAROL BRUTON “When I swim, I am totally fascinated by the blue, glinting waves that spread across the ocean in permanent motion. I have used a reflective magnification to create the mirrored, moving effect of the ripples.”

Born in Toronto, Carol grew up in Spain, a country she still regularly visits from her home in the South of France. Throughout the year, Carol swims in the sea, a constant source of inspiration in her artistic practice. The surface of

the ocean is like a great mirror, one that reflects the essential colours of the day. There glinting in the water is the

evening sky or the morning clouds. Images from above become rivulets of colour between the waves, churning up the world into mysterious new forms.

Since 1977 Carol has exhibited with galleries and institutions internationally including in Tehran, New York and

Monaco, and has been awarded the Italian Premio in Lesa, Italy. Carol’s latest series Dancing Waves highlights her fascination with the brilliant movement of ripples that seem to show the ocean breathing. Light moves across the sculpture cube changing with every second of the day, mimicking the ever restless patterns in the ocean.

Ripples Blue, 2016, yatch paint of resin, 80 x 80 cm.

NANCY CADOGAN “This series celebrates those big blue sky moments - the moment the sky releases you from whatever earthly worries you have … I am free from myself.”

Time and stillness are central to the practice of this reflective painter. “The key to my paintings is to give them

time – they reveal themselves slowly,” says Nancy. The words give us an insight into her artistic process, one which is deeply considered. In an era dubbed the Post Postmodernist Age of Academia by art historian Andrew Graham

Dixon, painting, in particular figurative painting, is a risk. Nancy’s oil paintings display all the qualities associated

with an intuitive but practiced colourist: forms are balanced with planes and spaces that draw your eye out into large vistas. She loves the plasticity of oil paints - the way they hold colour and dry slowly. It is the perfect medium to recall memory, a belief Nancy shares with painters like Richter or Hockney.

Much loved for her landscapes and portraits (from Ghana to Utah and Lake Como) Nancy has had three major

solo shows at Frost & Reed in New York and Sladmore Contemporary in London, in addition to numerous group shows. For the Blue Edition, Nancy has created a set of wistful skyscapes. Her blues are sumptuous and sublime; they elicit feelings of joy and elation. She frequently incorporates a specific “Nancy blue” made from a base of Phthalo turquoise, to bring light into her canvas.

In contrast her triptych, Locus I,II, and III, recently returned from showing in The Hamptons, USA is an exercise in

restraint. Using the genre of still life, Nancy shows how objects are transformed by relationships – and by extension how our lives can be transformed by art. Importantly, the story develops through the relationship you discover with with her painting, if you give it time, and stillness.

Locus I,II,III 2016, oil on linen, 56 x 41 cm.

DOMINIQUE GEROLINI “Bleu , couleur silencieuse

quand je travaille avec le bleu… le silence…”

Based in Plan de la Tour, France, Dominique Gerolini is an abstract painter who has moved through some of the

most prestigious ateliers in Paris before settling in the South of France. Her clean, grid like paintings call to mind some of the great abstract painters of the 20th century such as Mondrian and Delaunay, yet her pure colours sing with subtle harmonies that are emphatically contemporary.

These brightly-coloured abstract paintings explore how geometries or repeating patterns reveal themselves in

the free hand. Beginning as one continuous sketch, the artist is seeking natural proportions through gesture and

exploring the interconnectedness of forms. Though grid-like, they are not reductive like Mondrian’s neoplasticism, nor are there any black lines where the tracing might have been. Her paintings - which are all very domestic in

scale - explore the boundaries of proportion, leaving thinnest sliver of white canvas between harmonious sections

of painted colour. Increasingly minimalist, these works test our understanding of proportion and balance, and ask whether it is intuitive or simply learnt.

For Dominique, blue is a colour that can be anything you want it to be: happy and sad, calming and joyous, subtle

and strong. As the father of modern abstraction Wassily Kandinsky once said, “Almost without exception, blue refers to the domain of abstraction and immateriality.”

Blue 4, 2016, acrylic on paper, 76 x 56 cm. / Blue 5, 2016, acrylic on paper, 76 x 56 cm.

AZADEH GHOTBI “Blue tones appear against a more muted palette of colours like rays of hope and opportunity.”

Iranian-born artist Azadeh spent her formative years experiencing “revolution, loss, exile and the idiosyncrasies

of being stateless yet feeling proud of one’s heritage”. Her works speak of a duality that is experienced after everything falls apart. Her paintings captivate with unexpected beauty, one that manifests through transformation

and survival. Though “stateless” she has a wide international appeal: Azadeh has exhibited in Amsterdam, Basel, Dubai, Cairo, Frankfurt, London, Los Angeles, New York, Paris and Tehran. Her diptych Twisted Tales is a story of

reconstruction from shattered origins in the form of canvases painted on both sides, torn apart and recomposed in such a manner as to show the tortuous path that life can take.

Turning her canvas into a veil, Azadeh paints both sides in contrasting themes. One side is smooth, rich and

monochromatic; the other is complex, layered and multicoloured with the accumulation of marks. The artist then literally rips the canvas apart, shredding it into multiple strands, which she then reconfigures into a three

dimensional work. Some strips of canvas are spiralled out of shape then affixed at a point in time, their natural motion and potential entrapped forever. This dual motion of flat and twisted strips act like tales of coexisting turmoil and composure, helplessness and defiance, chaos and tranquillity.

Twisted Tales 4, 2014, acrylic on canvas, each panel 80 x 60 cm.

SUKI JOBSON “Blue is beyond. Piercing magnetic unbounded blue.”

A graduate scholar of the Royal Drawing School, Suki’s practice is firmly rooted in the qualities of gesture both

as a physical act and as a definition of space. Her art springs from an anthropological probing, and her spirit is

that of an explorer who repeatedly strikes out into the unknown. Having worked in the field of Public International Law as a geographer/lawyer for the resolution of international boundary and territorial conflicts, Suki went on to study circus and the art of clowning in London and Paris. Each new line of enquiry takes her somewhere: a potter’s

assistant in Marseille, a shepherd in the Alps, a site-specific work in London. This leap into the physical seeds her practice.

It is the moment of mark making that determines whether gestures are received or learned, and through her work

Suki is exploring a primal urge to make marks. Just as our ancestors scratched charcoal by candlelight across

entire cave walls, she does not restrict her gestures to the page. Covering vast areas of paper equivalent in scale to her own body, or filling unlikely spaces with found and reconfigured objects, her process is highly researched and intuitively physical. “It’s not so much about the refinement of any mark but how it is placed in relation to others - how the marks activate space,” says Suki. Her process gives equal importance to the presence and absence of

marks. It is both the spaces in between and the spaces created which gives each work it’s specific cadence and

flow. Balanced between the figurative and the abstract, her work seeks a tracing - a line - between the internal and the external, the past and the present. The results are brave and piercingly visceral.

Float, 2016, charcoal, pastel and pigment on paper, 128.6 x 159.6 cm.

EMMA LEVINE ‘Colour is nothing but a sensation and has no existence at all independent of the nervous system of living beings.’ — O.N. Rood

Emma works with the essence of things – like the shadows in Plato’s Cave. Her collages – which she calls collections – touch on the elements that sustain us: air, water and light. Working with forms intuitively, she begins her line of

enquiry with a camera and seeks out archetypal forms: the perfect outline of a winter tree, a coral specimen, a

butterfly’s wings. Then there is the process of transferring, cutting and layering to create the final work; a work that is invested with idea that what we perceive is an accumulation of layers.

These layers – often invisible hidden under a succession of materials – invite you to pull back the veil. Working with the purest of materials (silk, archival paper, wood and glass), Emma’s assemblages call to mind a Japanese

aesthetic, one in which a minimal placement of line is extremely studied. What this produces within each work, through a central form raised up on etymology pins, is a shadow of itself. There is both the thing and the idea of the thing within each frame. She is investigating our relationship with beauty: it is both an image and an object.

“Colour is nothing but a sensation….So why do we have a response to beauty? What is our direct emotion to nature? I wonder if we are actually that necessary to nature. We assist in only the sense of appreciation but nature can get on beautifully without our presence.”

Depth, 2016, silk, paper, acrylic, pigment, pins, 94 x 78 cm.

EDWINA SANDYS “As a child, my favourite colour was BLUE. Later, when I began to paint, I found the passion of RED irresistible. But

now, with the strait-jacket of The Blue Edition show, I have been forced to revisit my early love of BLUE. Perhaps it will lead me through the looking glass into a whole new wonderland?”

In a career spanning four decades, Edwina first came to international attention with her sensational bronze sculpture Christa (1975): Jesus Christ portrayed as a woman on a Lucite cross. Her many subsequent public commissions

were completed in an ambitious range of materials from marble and bronze to steel, plastic and concrete. Major

works include three monumental sculptures commemorating the International Year of the Child, at United Nations headquarters in Geneva, Vienna and New York.

Edwina describes her practice as based in principle on cutting, and in so doing outwardly references her visible

link to Matisse who turned to paper cut outs at the pinnacle of his career. Her work is alchemical, it takes the

negative – either literal or metaphorical - and transforms it into a positive. Like opening a door on to what could be, it celebrates the triumph of imagination over circumstance.

In 1989 Edwina travelled to the Berlin Wall and reclaimed eight sections of the graffiti painted wall to make her sculpture Breakthrough. It is a deceptively simple work – the figure of a man and a woman are cut out of the

concrete to create a human space one can walk through. It is permanently sited in Fulton Missouri, where Winston

Churchill gave his great “Iron Curtain speech”. Since the dedication of Breakthrough by Ronald Reagan in 1990, many other world leaders including Mikhail Gorbachev and Margaret Thatcher have subsequently spoken there. Edwina encourages people to use the sculpture as a sort of meditation device. “Imagine you are making a new

beginning, your own breakthrough. Stand on the dreary, grey Communist side and then, burst through the wall into a glorious Technicolor world.”

Red Hot & Blue, 2016, acrylic on canvas, 91.44 x 66 cm.

DEBORAH TARR Deborah Tarr is one of the most accomplished abstract painters living in Britain today. Her paintings and assemblages are thoughtful, contemplative and quietly charged. They radiate with energy, and captivate with a

visceral and positive stimulation, one that is further enriched for those who look deeply with all of their senses. Her monumental oil paintings such as Silver Rain, can take up to 14 months to resolve - coaxing and transforming the materials to her will. For the artist this represents an enquiry into the hierarchy of materials, one that references

the Arte Povera movement in Italy in the late 1950s. They remind us that everything we touch, use and surround ourselves with is invested with the value we assign it. Her work is deeply modern because it speaks to the inquiring mind, looking for something beyond the surface.

Many of Deborah’s paintings are figurative in aspect – their centre like a living thing. Planes of colour placed

vertically are suggestive of growth, and horizontal lines draw the eye out towards an horizon. Her assemblages also follow this schematic – upright placement balanced by the occasional flat or tilted line – until they represent

a whole. Some works call to mind the figure of the artist standing tall, and reaching up beyond her physical

limitations. For Deborah, making things - the physical work of an artist - is how she maintains her own equilibrium. Like the abstract painter Agnes Martin, “happiness is being on a beam with life”. For the past decade, Deborah

has exhibited with Cadogan Contemporary, London, with annual sell out shows; throughout 2016 she has been represented at numerous art fairs by Art Bastion Gallery.

Baie des , 2016, oil on linen, 183x 183 cm.

ECHO MORGAN “The reason he try to kill himself was because he owe everybody money, I mean everybody, that includes my mum, his girlfriend, his brother and three of his best friends. Why and how? To collect a room full of blue and white vase.”

My name is Echo Morgan, My real Chinese name is Xie Rong. I grew up in ChengDu, the pandas’ home in South-

West China. I moved to the UK when I was 19. In my work I take on the role of director, performer, narrator, and filmmaker. I am collecting and collaging encounters, voices, texts, and images from my cultural roots in China and

my daily life in the UK. Through the media of performance and film I explore the intrinsic and complex relationship between violence, beauty and vulnerability, re-examining how these antipodal constructs impact ideas of the ‘self’

and the body. There are three paths in my work: narrative, live performance and performance photographs: My narrative is rooted with my family history. I explore my individual memory that is deeply embodied with China’s

complex society – one that had undergone a series of philosophical, ideological and political transformations. They show as films, little books, short stories and audio pieces.

In live performance I often transform the surface of my body into symbols: the Chinese national flag, blue and

white porcelain, goldfish, Chinese landscape painting, rice balls and jade. I manipulate contemporary meaning

into traditional iconography. I often invite viewers to participate, drawing strength from the audience’s emotional vulnerability and feelings of uneasiness, to complete the performance as a whole. Here, my emotions become entwined with the audience’s, creating a symbiotic relationship based on control and power. All the fragments act as a mechanical reproduction circle based on my Buddism philosophy of Samsara.

Bone Chine Born Chine, digital print on paper, 58 x 45 cm.

A Brief History of Blue “But aren’t naked pigments already works of art - the products of skill and creativity, and substances of glorious elegance and splendour?” — Philip Ball, Bright Earth the Invention of Colour. Pure blue was not considered a primary colour until Thomas Young (1773 - 1829) revealed his theory of colour vision (Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London Vol. 92, 1802, pp. 12-48). Today this single perceptual concept of blue encompasses a whole sea of hues including cyan, indigo, ultramarine, manganese, navy, Phthalo, cerulean and most recently YInMn Blue.

Timeline of blue pigments.

The Egyptians were known to have created the first blue pigment. They associated the blue depths of the ocean with the female principle. The first blue pigment was made with azurite, a natural mineral. By 2,200 BC the Egyptians had manufactured Egyptian blue, a combination of lime, sand and azurite that was fired like glass. Mixed with egg white it created a beautiful light blue. However, during the middle ages the recipe was lost. Blue took centre stage in the history of art with the discovery of ultramarine - a vibrant blue created out of ground lapis lazuli. Ultramarine was first brought to the Venetian courts in the early Renaissance from blue veined quarries by the River Oxus, in Afghanistan. Around 1351, Cennino Cennini wrote the first “how to” book for artists (Il Libro dell’ Arte) which described the complex process for making ultramarine. The stone had to be ground up and worked over three days into a dough of acacia gum. Then suspended in a alkali solution which released the brilliant blue lazurite particles. More expensive than gold, artists used a base layer of azurite and finished the surface with ultramarine. As it was precious and valuable, the Catholic Church wanted to control it. Blue was reserved exclusively for the Virgin Mary, as if the ritual layering of the Madonna’s robes in ultramarine would to

confer virtue on a painting. Blue was thus intimately bound with the divine, perfect for displaying the splendour of the church. Standing beneath Giotto’s ultramarine roof fresco punctuated by golden stars in the Arena Chapel Padua (1305), is to behold a miracle. There was one artist who dared to use ultramarine with abandon: Titian. His masterpiece, Bacchus and Adriane (1522), is resplendent with an ultramarine sky across half the canvas. The painting represents a pivotal moment in art history when the colour blue was unleashed. As painters discovered that mixing pure ultramarine with oil reduces intensity, they began combining it with white lead. In the book Venetian Colour, Paul Hill explains “only once the long-standing reluctance to mix ultramarine with white was overcome were painters free to discover the value of a whole range of blues in gradations of lightness…”

Titian Bacchus and Ariadne, (1522- 23) Oil on Canvas 176.5cm x 191cm. National Gallery, London

The next development was with cobalt metal which was used to make smalt (blue glass). It was used for blue stained glass windows of Medieval cathedrals such as that in St Denis and Chartres, inspiring Marc Chagall (Peace) and Matisse (Chapelle du Rosaire) to create translucent masterpieces in blue glass. Smalt became an important glaze on porcelain during the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644) to create their distinctive blue and white porcelain. It was not until the eighteenth century that the Swedish chemist Georg Brandt analysed smalt and identified cobalt as the element responsible for the colour blue. Between the 15th and 18th centuries the only alternative to ultramarine available to painters was a side product of silver mining: the artificial copper blues or ‘verditers’. With the scientific discoveries prompted by the Industrial

Revolution came a huge expansion in the range of synthetic pigments. The first synthetic blue pigment was

developed by accident around 1704 when the German druggist Diesbach was experimenting with potassium and iron sulphides trying to make cochineal red lake. Instead he created iron ferrocyanide and the fist modern blue: Prussian blue. It is a pigment deeply affected by natural light and fades dramatically over time.

The fading of Prussian blue presented a problem for painters, but it created an opportunity for the innovator Sir John Herschel. Initially he covered paper with ammonium ferric citrate and let it dry, then shone light onto the paper and plunged it into potassium ferricyanide. It turned blue (cyan). However when he put an object between

the light and the paper and repeated the process, the form of the object remained. It was the first“cyanotype” and it led him to also create the first “blueprint” by repeating the process using tracing paper.

In 1824 a prize of 6,000 francs was offered to the anyone who could synthesise ultramarine. The French chemist

Jean Baptiste Guimet and German Christian Gmelin went head to head, with the French bleu winning the prize. At first it was considered an inferior product, but eventually the artificial ultramarine would completely replace the natural pigment. Then cobalt blue, a pigment of cobalt oxide-aluminium oxide, was made stable by the

chemist Louis Jacques Thenard in 1802. This was used in oil paint and called cerulean blue. The new synthetic pigments expanded the palettes of painters such as J.M.W Turner who experimented masterfully with cobalt. The Impressionists used the new ultramarine, cobalt and cerulean with abandon: think of Monet’s shimmering Sunrise

or Rodin’s The Umbrellas. It was a favourite of Renoir and Van Gogh said “cobalt is a divine colour and there is nothing so beautiful for putting atmosphere around things…”

Wassily Kandinsky, Sky Blue, 1940. Oil on canvas 100.0 × 73.0 cm.

Centre Georges Pompidou, Paris

At the turn of the 20th century, Wassily Kandinsky and Franz Marc named their Expressionist group The Blue Rider (Der Blaue Reiter). They prized blue for its ability to convey emotional and spiritual expression “the deeper it is the more it awakens the desire for the eternal.” Two new blues were synthesised in 1935: Monstral blue and manganese blue. In the 1960s Yves Klein abandoned other colours completely and made blue the singular element of both his paintings and performances. He patented his own pigment International Klein Blue which was a deep ultramarine, powdery in quality. Klein felt it revealed the properties of pure space and “open window to freedom as the possibility of being immersed in the immeasurable existence of colour.” In June 2016, scientists in Oregon discovered a new pigment they called YInMn Blue. This is the first new blue in 200 years, one that is waiting for an artist to bring it to life.

Yves Klein, Blue Monochrome, 1961. The Sidney and Harriet Janis Collection, New York.

“Blue has no dimensions; it is beyond dimensions… blue suggests at most the sea and the sky, and they, after all, are in actual, visible nature what is most abstract.” — Yves Klein

1. Philip Ball, Bright Earth: The Invention of Colour (Vintage, 2009).

2. P. Hill Venetian Colour (Yale University Press, New Haven,CT, 1999), p136.

3. Blue: Cobalt to Cerulean in Art and Culture (Museum of Fine Arts Boston, 2015).

4. Victoria Finlay The Brilliant History of Colour in Art (J. Paul Getty Museum, November 1st 2014).

The Blue Edition By appointment only +447852333134  68 Kinnerton Street SW1X 8ER London UK

Words cannot fully express my gratitude towards Andrea Hamilton, Andrea Algueró and all the team at Kinnerton studios for their incredible generosity, collaboration and support in bringing this project to life.

Š Andrea Hamilton

The Blue Edition Catalogue 1Dec  
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