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Hand Maid “fit in here, in my palm, in my shadow, don’t be bigger than my idea of you, don’t be more beautiful than i can accept, don’t be more human than i am willing to allow you to be and be quiet, you’re too loud, even your un-belonging is loud. quiet your dreams, your voice, your hair, quiet your skin, quiet your displacement, quiet your longing, your colour, quiet your walk, your eyes. who said you could look at me like that? who said you could exist without permission? why are you even here? why aren’t you shrinking? i think of you often. you vibrate. you walk into a room and the temperature changes. i lean in and almost recognise you as human. but, no. we can’t have that.” - Warsan Shire In March 2013, Sweet ‘Art launched with Show #1, their first exhibition in aid of International Women’s Day. Three years, and 12 more successful exhibitions later, and we feel the need for this day of celebration of female achievement as much as if not more than ever. Hand Maid is a part of that celebration, reflecting a wide range of aspects of contemporary femininity. The multitude of voices in this exhibition may be serious, or humorous; satirical or polemical; joyous or solemn, but overall are certainly not ‘quiet’ but vigorous and demand the viewer’s attention. In Hand Maid, Sweet ‘Art have asked over 80 local and international artists and filmmakers to challenge and inspire the viewer with works exploring themes stemming from International Women’s Day 2016. Hand Maid runs from 5-9 March 2016 at Hoxton Arches, London.


Jane Fairhurst In this freestanding sculptural piece, knitted, vaguely human female forms are piled, higgledy-piggledy in a museum-type showcase. The knitted shapes are based on Stone-Age ‘Venus figures’; representations of the female form carved from materials such as stone, bone, ivory, wood, or ceramic clays. In ‘Women’s work is never done’, some of the knitted figures are purposely incomplete – unfinished stitches and trailing wool are representative of the “incomplete picture of the role women have played in society”, as Jane Fairhurst comments. Jane often creates fictitious artefacts, drawing inspiration from ethnographic collections in museums. The museum space was traditionally created for men, telling predominantly male stories from a man’s point of view. Jane Fairhurst’s work subverts museum traditions. The addition of a drawer to her museum vitrine – crammed full of knitting needles and wool – adds a domestic touch. The Venuses are piled in to the case, appearing as if squashed in thoughtlessly. This again could be a comment on how institutions have neglected ideas of the feminine in the past, but also reinforces the idea of abundance and plenty inherent in the Venus figures themselves. The use of a ‘craft’ technique to create her Venuses could also be read as a comment on the dialectic of art vs craft, and aligns her with contemporary artists such as Grayson Perry or Lisa Solomon who appropriate traditional methods of creating functional items, for expression. As forms of creation such as knitting were traditionally seen as ‘Women’s work’, using them here to realise an artwork referencing a museum and ultimately intended to be shown in a museum space, brings the ideas full circle. Jane Fairhurst gained an MFA in 2010 from Liverpool JMU Art and Design Academy. She has been exhibiting for over 20 years. Jane has worked together with artists, museums and galleries to create multi media installations showing her own and collaborative works together with loaned artefacts, archival films and the work of invited artists. Women’s work is never done 2015, Mixed media, 72 x 40 x 25cm


Holly Rozier In looking at the work of Holly Rozier, the viewer makes an interesting journey. Seeing her sculptures across the gallery floor, one may be repulsed by the strange alien forms, hanging cocoon-like in the corners of the room. They appear to be glistening flesh, oozing strange fluids, with dripping wounds and tears in the skin. Coming nearer, the sculptures begin to transform from living tissue to textile; a little nearer still and it becomes clear that silks, chiffons and delicate beadwork make up the form and detail of the pieces. This juxtaposition of the beautiful with the grotesque forms the basis of much of Holly’s work, and she comments “My work has the ability of intrigue, attract and repel the viewer simultaneously” Materials are key to Holly Rozier’s artwork and processes of making. Incorporating materials usually used in female clothing: Lycra from hosiery, silks and satins from lingerie, and chiffon from summer dresses, Holly indirectly references the female body. The intricate hand-bead work which makes up the ‘wounds’ in her sculptures is executed to the standard of a Parisian couturier, and could be equally at home adorning an Alexander McQueen dress. These pieces could be seen as a critique on the fashion industry – the hours spent in sweatshop conditions to create a beautiful hand-beaded garment are exposed in the ugliness of the outcome. They could equally be a critique of the commodification of the art world – likening it to the high-status high-fashion industry. Holly Rozier does not assign either of these interpretations to her art work. Rather she draws inspiration from the human body- contorting and distending the pliable materials into new forms only vaguely human. She sees herself as a modern Dr Frankenstein, in which case we, as viewers are invited to question whether she would like us to view her creations as ‘the monster’? Holly Rozier is originally from Derbyshire, and currently resides in Brighton. She graduated in 2013, studying Fine Art at the University of Chichester. Key and upcoming exhibitions include: Feminism in London Conference, London, Featured Artist- October 2016. Solo Exhibition. Corridor Gallery, Brighton- June 2016. Feminism in London Conference. London, Featured Artist- October 2015. Brighton Open Houses. BrightonMay 2015.

Untitled 2015, Textile mixed media, 130 x 100 x 50cm


Klaus is koming Klaus’s personal statement about the work reads: “well, i am interested in the rude to the lewd to the downright krewd. i kombine linguistiks and the challenges of censorship with a filthy fascination for vintage pornography, straddling a space somewhere between chomsky and the chapman brothers. i like to kall myself an ‘artist’ so i kan get away with looking at porn all day without my mother worrying about me. by re-appropriating the kontext and function of porn mags, i konkoct images which are celebratory, bold and salaciously fun - allowing for a more kolloquial konversation around ‘sex ed’ “ In ‘Mirelle’, the image lifted from a porn magazine has been abstracted by the use of colour. In contrast to the image’s original purpose as an object of desire, the humorous gaze of Klaus transforms the body of the woman into a cartoon face. Nipples could equally be eyes, with the belt creating a lopsided smile across the canvas. The candy pink and blue background reinforces this childlilke playfulness. Cropped to centre in on the breasts, the painting could be seen to reflect the notion of the ‘woman-as-object’ in traditional pornography, but by giving the woman a name – ‘Mirelle’, and stripping the image of all but the form of the body, Klaus subverts this. ‘Barbie ‘, along with much of Klaus’s other work, plays with ideas of censorship. In this piece, a page from a vintage porn magazine has been layered with acetate, which has then been drawn over. Areas of the woman’s body have been concealed by pen and ink. Klaus invites us to consider which areas of the female body are deemed taboo; which society says must be concealed. The overlay of the acetate also has the effect of creating a false titillation – reminiscent of ‘end-of the pier’ smut, there is the promise of lifting the decorative top layer to reveal the full nudity underneath. It is possible that with this, Klaus is exploring the seen and unseen – putting forward a new and different form of femininity with the work. Mirelle 2016, Acrylic and varnish on canvas, 80 x 80cm


Alice Steffen The piece takes for its inspiration, and pays homage to the Somali model, author, actress and social activist Waris Dirie. After a career as a successful fashion model, Waris became a UN Peace Ambassador, working for the abolition of female genital mutilation (FGM), from which she had suffered herself as a child. Alice Steffen took the name Waris as her starting point, as the name means ‘desert flower’ in Somali. Alice has created five flowers, which are intended to represent the number of years Waris Dirie’s charity has been saving young women from FGM. The petals of each flower are formed from moulds of female mouths. This is a reference to Waris’s role as a spokeswoman – giving a voice to many women and girls who otherwise might have gone unheard, but another dimension emerges when we consider that the etymology of the word labia is from the Latin labium, meaning lip. The mouths; slightly parted or with the tip of the tongue protruding have a sexual connotation, enhanced by the hints of pink and blush tones. It is also a point of note that as a child, Waris’s nickname was ‘Little Mouth’. The apparent softness in form and colour that the petal lips provide is contrasted by the glass centre of each flower. Often when the circumcising procedure is carried out, it is with a razor blade or broken glass.The stem of each flower has been intricately beaded in designs reminiscent of the waist and neck beads worn by some African women as a symbol of desirability. This could suggest a contrast between perceived sexual attractiveness on the surface, and the true mutilation of the sexual organs beneath. Alice also wanted each of these beads to represent those girls still at risk from FGM, she says “The numbers are mind blowing. Even though there is a lot of bead work, I am not even close to truly representing them.” Alice Steffen was born in Cambridge, England. She studied at Glasgow School of Art, School of The Art Institute of Chicago and City and Guilds of London Art School. Alice collaborated with Gabriel Akagawa in Chicago and was part of the mould-making team for the Queen’s Jubilee Barge, 2012. The Scotsman reviewing Alice’s work wrote “If American artist Jeff Koon’s is the king of kitsch, then Alice Essex is its potential queen” Alice has exhibited in London, Glasgow, and USA. Desert Flower 2015, Plaster, beads, wood, steel, 50 x 25 x 25cm


Anna Berry The title of this piece makes reference to the novelist and art writer John Berger and his influential book ‘Ways of Seeing’, which contains seven essays exploring aspects of aesthetics. The third essay in particular provides key themes explored in Anna Berry’s piece, as it focuses on the way women have been (and arguably still are sometimes) portrayed in certain artistic traditions. Anna has taken high definition prints of five paintings depicting the ‘Venus’, by painters such as Velazquez, Titian, and Goya and re-shot them installed in a space, with shadows of what appear to be large erect penises (in fact, created with dildos) cast across key elements in the originals. John Berger’s essay posited that the tradition of painting the female nude was, in so many of the well-known paintings of the renaissance and baroque periods with which museums like the National Gallery and the Louvre are filled, designed only to appeal to the male viewer. He asserts that the paintings were never an expression or exploration of the female subjects’ sexuality, but were merely there to play to the (unknown male) viewers. Anna Berry’s male viewer is clearly sexualised, and literally ‘shadowy’ – the erect oversized penis combined with the shadowiness creating a dichotomy between a sinister feel (from film tropes such as the Psycho shower scene) and juvenile humour. John Berger also states that until the late 19th Century, the majority of female nude portraits painted were not intended to be true portraits of the woman at all, merely representations of an attractive woman – which is perhaps why Anna has strategically placed the shadows to mask the women’s faces. In the representation of the work ‘The Toilet of Venus’, where the woman has her back turned to the viewer, the shadow falls across the mirror reflecting her face. This idea of the woman being reduced to a body is also somewhat subverted by Anna in her work – if the women in her piece have become merely bodies, the male viewer has been reduced even further to a simple penis. Anna Berry is an artist working primarily with site-specific installation. She was also shortlisted for the Adam Reynolds Memorial Bursary. In the past few years she has exhibited at galleries such as The Royal West of England Academy, and in 2013, was shortlisted for ‘Open Cube’ at White Cube in London. She has recently completed residencies in Brush Creek, Wyoming and Fljotstunga, Iceland.


Livi Mills Livi Mills is an illustrator and printmaker who graduated with a First Class BA Hons in Fine Arts from the University of Leeds and is now completing a Masters in Printmaking at Camberwell College of Arts, UAL. Her artistic intent is usually expressed through a printed medium and focuses on the categorisation of space and on the way to shape a visual language in order to signify that space. ‘Object of femininity (Heart)’ uses highly material objects to examine the ‘space’ of the body, which becomes both present and absent. Livi wants us to think about the authenticity of the monument and to challenge the representational space of the female, drawing attention to the inadequacies of things as replacements for the real body. This is the reason why she intentionally makes use of objects with and exaggerated feminine physical presence like the camisole, which, at the same time, lack a specific identity. Her work tries to simulate the process of memorialisation through physical yet inert objects.

Right: Livi Mills, Objects of Femininity (Heart) 2013, Photographic print, 50 x 30cm Facing page: Anna Berry, Berger 2015, Photographic print, 20 x 20cm


Maggie Williams Maggie Williams is a British artist living and working in London. She has extensively exhibited across the UK since her graduation in 2011 and uses a variation of media spanning from latex, plaster, digital C-type print and paper collage to cross-stitch on aida, investigating the crossing between fine art and popular culture. Her most recent body of works aims to challenge the perception of the international bodybuilding competition Mr and Ms Olympia. Maggie wants to create a dialogue of antithesis and symbiosis in the representation of these athletes’ male-looking bodies with the technique of embroidery, traditionally connected to femininity and gentleness. The poses are resultantly emasculated, being converted “from Herculean moment to delicate cross-stitch”, while the delineation of strong, exaggerated muscles gives a whole new sensibility and contemporaneity to needlecraft. Named after one of the most famous American female bodybuilder, ‘Iris Kyle’ portrays the athlete’s bulging body whose femininity is almost impossible to detect, an effect that is amplified by the obliteration of her face. Iris Kyle 2016, Embroidery, 20 x 20cm


Emma Davis Emma Davis is a writer and visual artist at her fourth exhibition with Sweet ‘Art. She holds Masters of Arts in both Literature (University of York) and Fine Arts (Slade School of Fine Art, University College London) and exhibits regularly at the Royal College of Art, Originals and the Other Art Fair. Emma works across different media, including oils, watercolour, etchings, monoprints and pencil on paper and claims Howard Hodgkin, Japanese block print and Chinese pottery to be her main influences. The act of drawing is fundamental to her, because it allows her to slow down and focus on her own thoughts. Her drawings often include texts that make remarks to her own thinkings, sensations or images a situation suggests her.The etchings presented in Hand Maid come from different series, but they all connect to the private world on public display, such as women on public transport or in art galleries, absorbed in their own thoughts and completely unselfconscious.

Don’t Stand 2014, Etching on paper, 38 x 29cm


Susan Fletcher Susan Fletcher is a British artist specialising in sculpture, who started her career in the creative industry with a degree in Fashion and Textiles from the Birmingham University. She has worked with designers in Paris and London and created her own fashion design business. In 2013 she graduated with distinction in Fine Arts at the University for the Creative Arts of Canterbury and was selected at the Signature Art Prize London as a national finalist for sculpture. Her first solo exhibition followed a year later and the Griffin Gallery commissioned an installation for the Crypt Gallery in London in 2015. She recently completed an 8 month residency at UCA. Casting aggressive red wax and combining it with ‘lost and found objects’, Susan questions the attitude towards female fragility, and scrutinises collective fears and anxieties which are often undisclosed and kept private. She feels the need to investigate what is usually hidden and what arises from “acts of alteration, violence and interference”. Susan builds different layers of symbolism into her works and raises private conversations with the juxtaposition of old objects and her hand made creations. The New Normality 2015, Wax, found objects, 170 x 100 x 120cm


Rachel McArthur Rachel McArthur is a Canadian photo-based artist from Toronto. She has recently graduated in Photography with a minor in Printmaking from Ontario College of Art and Design University and her artworks were featured in exhibitions in Toronto, Paris and across Greece and England. The constant in Rachel work is the motif of character creations, through photo based sculptures and tableaux photography. ‘illuMask’ is part of her new series investigating the theme of women and beauty and the ways in which beauty products are used. It takes its name from an anti-acne or anti-ageing phototherapy mask, looking like a sci-fi movie character’s disguise. Rachel decided to undertake this project thanks to her interest to the long history of countless and fascinating products and procedures women have tested and followed to achieve, or at least try to, the standard ideal of beauty. The backgrounds and the scenes are different in every photograph and are meant to reflect the characters of each woman Rachel has portrayed.

illuMask 2016, Photographic print, 58 x 91cm


Sweet’Art

Ali King

Najiba Kitai

Reva 2015, Photographic print, 114 x 76cm

Charity2 Title 2015, Porcelain and wood, 95 x 35cm

Anna Rocchi

Carolyn J Whittaker

Skin 1 2015, Digital print, 42 x 30cm

Jelly Marks The Spot 1 2000, Photo etching, 43 x 58cm

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Charlotte Hamilton

Charlene C Lam

Mirror Selfie 2016, Circular mirrors, 100 x 200cm

OBJECT / OBJECT 2016, Viny letters on acrylic, 44 x 34cm

Cherelle Sappleton

Cheryl Papasian

With Attitude 2015, UV print on MDF, 67 x 36cm

Perles du Lac III 2015, Driftwood, string, pearls, 21 x 18 x 10cm

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Sweet’Art

Dagmar Rieger

Daniel O’Sullivan

Fanntasma 2015, Embroidery, 20 x 30cm

The Sanctuary Of Youthful Indifference 2015, Oil on canvas, 200 x 120cm

Dianne Murphy

Eleftheria Macha

Wee Lassie 1993, Coloured ink etching, 17 x 29cm

Santini 2015, Wood, printed cards, 20 x 11 x 9cm

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Emily Howard

Zarifi

The Impeccable Ladies 2016, Digital print, 84 x 59cm

Zarifi Railway Working 2015, Digital print, 62 x 45cm

Felicity Tchorlian

Flo

Clio 2015, Photographic print, 42 x 59cm

Roots 2015, Acrylic on paper, 30 x 30cm

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Sweet’Art

George Bothamley

Gudrun Latten

Rosa Parks 2016, Pen and ink on paper, 42 x 59cm

Narziss – form follows function # 7 2015, Digital print, 30 x 20cm

Han Caroline

Helen Taranowski

Pretty Things 2016, Embroidered fabric print, 15 x 10cm

Women Killed by Men 2014 2015, Digital print, 42 x 59cm

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Ian Law

Jane Fredericks

Live/work unit 2016, Oil on canvas, 84 x 59cm

Madame Seife 2014, Collage, 21 x 30cm

Jane Skinner

Joanna Goddard

Frida 2015, Hand tinted photograph, 50 x 40cm

Swarm Of Desire, The Nymphs Headrest - Large 2009, Earthenware, glazes, 21 x 46 x 32cm

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Sweet’Art

John Gathercole

Julia Bellamy

That Was Useful Nose 2015, Oil on paper, 90 x 64cm

Das falsche Selbstbild (“the wrong self-image”) 2015, Collage on board, 24 x cm

Julia Überreiter

Laura Heath

The Bigger the Better 2009, Paint on photographic print, 40 x 60cm

Perfectly Natural 1 2015, Photgraphic and photogrammetric print, 32 x 42cm

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Laura New

Laura Wilson

Eyes Closed - Corrina 2016, Pencil, chalk and ink on wood panel, 40 x 30cm

Women & Cats 2016, Pencil and photoshop, 42 x 30cm

Lee Pyefinch

Maria Thatcher

Big Decisions 2015, Photographic print, 45 x 35cm

Elizabeth I meets Cate Blanchett who is a terminator 2015, Acrylic, gouache, 3D elements , 54 x 54cm 21


Sweet’Art

Marie Kårsjö

Maureen Jordan

Hair, nature 2011, Photographic print, 30 x 40cm

Home Sweet Home 2015, Kichen utensils, 35 x 35cm

Mia Hawk

Mia Wilkinson

One is not amused 2016, Oil on canvas, 92 x 71cm

HY-PERCH-TROPHY 2016, Media, 120 x 90cm

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Michael Walls

Minju Kim

The Birth of Jade Cluster 2016, Mixed media, 102 x 76cm

Body is a sublime gift 2015, Metallic photographic print, 69 x 42cm

Monica Ballesta

Nadia Nervo

Phantom baby 2015, Mixed media, 21 x 29cm

Sian 2015, Photographic print, 40 x 40cm

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Sweet’Art

Pascale Pressicaud

Peter D’Alessandri

Superfluid: Free Download 2016, Acrylic on traffic cones, 52 x 30 x30cm

Maxine - The Three Graces 2016, Oil on linen, 80 x 80cm

Rebecka Skog

Richard Morgan

Letdown 2016, Ink on paper, 21 x 29cm

Genesis 2015, Photographic print, 100 x 55cm

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Romily Alice

Rosemary Despres

Girl gang 2016, Pewter, 5 x 5 x 5cm

Identity 2015, Coloured pencils, 21 x 30cm

Rosemary Meza-DesPlas

Rosie Beard

Emmeline Pankhurst 2015, Human hair on fabric, 20 x 20cm

Girls 2014, Pen and indian ink, 60 x 42cm

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Sweet’Art

Saffron Reichenbäcker

Sally Gethin

An improbable blend of grace and depravity 2016, Mixed media, 51 x 41cm

Amalfi Bride 2005, Photographic print, 56 x 38cm

Sally Hewett

Sally Jones

Possible Side Effect 2015, Lycra, foam padding, embroidery silk, quilting hoop, 80 x 33 x 13cm

The Truth, The Whole Truth, Nothing But The Truth 2015, Oil on canvas, 50 x 150cm

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Sara Hindhaugh

Sarah Hill

Falling Tears 2014, Oil on canvas, 120 x 150cm

Brown Body 2015, Drawing, 21 x 29cm

Seema Mattu

Shannon Lane

Afghan Girl Revisited I 2016, Photographic print, 84 x 118cm

Aphrodisiac 2014, Oyster shell, polyurethane resin, polyester resin, pearl, 7 x 4cm 27


Sweet’Art

Shirani Bolle

Sinéad Loftus

Don’t Run 2016, Silicone, 90 x 30 x 20cm

It was meant to be 2016, Mixed media, 4 x 4 x 9cm

Stephanie K Kane

Susan Purser Hope

Stephanie is a Female artist 1992, Crayons, oil paint and lacquer on board, 59 x 84cm

Pregnant Pause - 9 months 2014, Fused glass with inclusions, 40 x 60cm

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Tallulah Lines

Mandelbaum

Sinead 2015, Acrylic on canvas, 80 x 60cm

The Girl with the Pearl Earring 2006, Oil on canvas, 60 x 60cm

Trystan Williams

Tuba G端ltekin

Romance 2013, Laser engraved text on found slate, 33 x 37 x 1cm

Rising 2016, Acrylic on paper, 33 x 48cm

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Sweet’Art

Water Kerner

Zaza

HERSTORY: For Women who Bloom despite the Injustice and lack of Nourishment 2016, Mixed media, 30 x 30 x 53cm

Death of Women 2012, Oil and coal on cardboard, 50 x 70cm

Anita Woods

Bebe Bentley

Perseverance 2013, Video projection

A Letter To... 2015, Video projection

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Hand Maid Catalogue

Jennifer Kaplan-Ortiz

Kirsty McKenzie

Get Pretty Video projection

Cat Lady 2015, Video projection

Madeleine Bates

Naomi ChassĂŠ

Fancy 2016, Video projection

After Morimura 2013, Video projection

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Sweet 窶連rt

Laura Benetton

Martin Varennes-Cooke

Blue Shikan 2014, Acrylic on canvas

Morning Light 2016, Acrylic on canvas

Alice Wyatt

Alexandra Gribaudi

Weeing 2015, film

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Couples (Detail from earlier installation) 2016, Paper and felt tip


Hand Maid Catalogue

Rosso Oxytocin 2016, Oil on panel

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Profile for Sweet 'Art

Hand Maid Catalogue  

Catalogue for the exhibition Hand Maid, March 2016, London

Hand Maid Catalogue  

Catalogue for the exhibition Hand Maid, March 2016, London

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