Come Together

Kyle West

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This photography series was inspired by comparing classic symbolism of unity and strength with consideration to the themes of Sex and the Steel City. Across the world and throughout many diverse culture, the symbol of holding hands can be seen to communicate intimacy or a close relationship.

Taking this symbol and empowering it through strong vertical compositional choices lend the viewer to perceive these couples and their love as prevailing. The stylistic choices are a nod towards the strength and monumentality of the landscape work of Ansel Adams and the influential portraiture of Platon. Ultimately, Come Together is a story of love, unity and partnership and my best ability to document this.

Kyle West is a Hamilton-based photographer. He is in his final year of art history at McMaster University and is currently the Photo Editor for the Silhouette. West has developed a particular interest in portraiture over the years, often times turning to digital and film photography to capture his subjects in a beautiful light. From perfectly timed scenes of bustling city streets on film to carefully composed landscapes and journalistic endeavours, West also utilizes his photography as a means for storytelling.

Shower Scene

Erin Nantais

This digital drawing entitled “Shower Scene” explores ideas and themes of intimacy that are typically uncomfortable for individuals to openly discuss.

Sex and sexuality are often unnecessarily forbidden topics that need to be reimagined as natural and normal.

Through this piece, sexuality is explored and depicted as natural, normal and familiar.

Simple lines and colours along with a minimalistic look are used to enhance the idea of intimacy as a normal and acceptable human experience.

Erin Nantais is a fourth year multimedia student at McMaster University. She typically works with photography and graphic design. Her personal style of work emphasizes strong lines and simple colour schemes to create a distinctive digital feel. Creative portraiture and animal photography are main sources of inspiration for most of Nantais’ work. Nantais has always been interested in art and photography and through her work she’s found a digital style that incorporates elements of both.

1st piece: Naturally Grown (Digital print, series of 20)

2nd piece: The healing sex (Digital print series of 2)


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Jet’s artistic process relies heavily on research into my chosen focus. It starts with the inquiry: “I want to understand more about…” as they then experiment with different mediums until they find the right material and presentation of their idea. Visualization is the key to their process where they push the boundaries of my idea and test as many possibilities as they can. When the piece is ready for an audience, Jet prefers the audience takes part in the outcome of the work itself.

Jet works mainly with performance, video, sculpture, photography and painting. They try not to ever limit myself to one medium. Jet encounters ideas that seem to float in the air and works with them, listens to them, becomes them and finds the best method to allow the work to exist in harmony with the audience.

Jet’s practice often explores the human body in all of its physical and ethereal elements. Throughout their life they have always made space for themselves to imagine and work out complex issues. This gives them the head space to create and transform what is not yet physical into a tangible piece.  

Jet is a  multidisciplinary artist who emigrated from Mexico in 2009. They grew up feeling that they didn’t always belong. Social norms, family, friends, peers, the state, and especially an oppressive culture of dominance, sought to limit the creativity of their soul. Now their work reflects a rebirth of expression, and the power of the artist’s will to transform the unseen beauty that surrounds them.



Cait Gautron

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In her first piece, Eviscerate (3016), in using fruit to mirror anatomy Cait Gautron was seeking to  question ideas of ripeness and primacy in media surrounding sex. Shadowing the piece are ideas of destruction and decay. With these characteristics she playfully seeks to evoke viscera while using approximate substitutes to create a surreal and dreamlike atmosphere.

Coercion (2018), oil on canvas. With this work, Gautron seeks to raise issues around social and institutional factors which motivate consent and the fear felt by participants who may unknowingly fall in to the role of perpetrator or victim.

In oil paints Gautron seeks to explore the delicate balance between desire and disgust, growth and decay, inherit in human anatomy. Raised by an artist mother, the majority of her early artistic education came from exploring the galleries and museums of Europe in her early teens.  In that time she became enamoured with the lustre of Vermeer’s still lifes and the contortion of Schielle’s portraits. Currently enrolled in her second year of McMaster University’s studio arts program, Gautron has just began to show her work around Hamilton and Ontario.

or nothing at all.

Kayla Da Silva

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or nothing at all.


It’s 11:07 am.

You check your phone.


For a moment 

you can’t breathe 

and then breathing 

happens all at once. 


Too fast. Too frequent.

Depression lingers 

in the depths of your mind 

and anxiety holds 

you by the throat. 



It’s 9:27 pm.

You ask them to choose you,

but they show you

they never will.

Over and over again.


You knew all along 

this was going 

to happen. 

The red flags 

waved furiously

but they were in 

your blind spot.




You are accompanied 

by your old friend, 


You are enveloped

with exhaustion,

and gently embraced

by the solace of truth.



you have to choose if 

you want to pick 

the dandelion 

or the rose 

or nothing at all.

The artwork accompanied by the poetry is meant as a reflection of relationships that are emotionally damaging. More times than never, an individual in the relationship may not be aware of how complicated the situations were until leaving them.

The series is meant to highlight the mental turmoil an individual can experience when the pattern of behaviours from a partner negatively impacts their state of mind. When being in a complicated relationship, it can often lead to an internal conflict when they are in-love with their partner.

The difficult question is; how long can one hold on to what appears to be a rose when the thorns cause trauma? A partner should never put you in a position where you need to routinely put your wellbeing at risk.

Kayla Da Silva, also known as Kaylita, is a creative and a designer. She has found her poetry to be a suitable companion to the visuals she creates. She holds a Bachelors of Arts in multimedia and communications from McMaster University and currently resides in Hamilton, Ontario working full-time as a junior graphic designer.

Instagram: @iamkaylita


Matty Flader

CW: Disordered eating

For me, sex and food have always had their limbs awkwardly intermingled (in a no eye contact Grindr hookup sort of way). I know what you’re thinking: “how deep, bananas look like dicks and I’m entirely enthused and kind of turned on.” Yet, the story of this photograph is really one of inner turmoil, anguish and ultimately resistance. The food/fuck correlation, as I call it, has lingered like an unwanted houseguest in my head for quite some time now. It goes something like this: the less sex I’m having the less I feel I’m allowed to eat. In times of plentiful or at least grandiose sexual conquest, I can take a breath… or, a bite I guess. The logic is as desperate as it is simple. If I’m not getting laid, I better stop snacking and start looking like a snack. The food/fuck correlation not only problematically frames sex as some prize for me to win, it also leads me through disorderly cycles of eating. It’s all too easy for the things I did or didn’t eat to change my self-perceived body image.

This self portrait is meant to picture the undying torment food puts me through. Putting a voice to this struggle challenges the hegemonic belief that men, those wonderful, tenacious beasts, could never develop eating disorders. The photo challenges the societally constructed ideal of a man who is too tough to feel pain. Inability to conform to this ideal can strip one of his own masculinity. As men the borders of our gendered and sexual identities are constantly under scrutiny by our peers. For most, it’s far easier to conform by reproducing masculinity however they see possible. As a result, men are taught that being normal means never being vulnerable. Expressions of masculine insecurity like my food/fuck anxiety are constantly pushed to the margins of society. I say fuck that. Through this photo I proudly shout: I am a man, I have feelings, sometimes I feel insecure, but here I am. And hey, I bet you’d still fuck me.

Matty Flader is an emerging artist based in Hamilton, Ontario and Vancouver, British Columbia. He takes an interdisciplinary approach to art projects, with a specialization in portrait photography. Flader’s work concerns a broad range of topics, including gender performance, eating abnormality and responses to current events. He often challenges difficult ideas through a humourous lens in attempt to bring attention to the absurdity of this world.

Instagram: @matt_der


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Sex and the Steel City has made its rounds over the years.

Whether it was moving on from a totally separate issue to an insert, reviving it from the dead after it was put to rest in 2014 or making the decision to not distribute 8,000 copies of full-on porn around campus and the community, looking through the SATSC archives is both hilarious and moving.

Special issues are a lot of work. Every aspect of this issue has a meticulous planning process and an entire team of staff and volunteers to get the job done. This year’s edition of SATSC was no exception.

On top of making sure that our regular, 28-page issue is both high-quality and on stands on time, our staff worked around the clock looking for submissions, editing content, laying out pages and planning a launch party. Razan Samara, our Arts & Culture editor, spent months planning the issue, from working and reworking our page count, layouts or what the cover might look like. Some of our contributors did double their paid workload in order to get this issue on stands.

Despite the various planning meetings, extra hours in the office, stress headaches and way too much coffee, we got it done, and it looks incredible.

We published the last Sex and the Steel City magazine in February 2016. The 32-page issue was distributed at the same time as our weekly paper and despite its popularity, was cut the following year due to budget cuts and complaints about the fact that it was NSFW.

After floating the idea around how to bring it back last year, we revived the special edition in the form of a some extra pages in our Arts and Culture section. We strayed from our traditional format about writing about sex for the sake of writing about sex and instead published pieces surrounding sex, health and relationships.

This year, we decided to follow suit, putting in an additional 12 glossy pages filled with artwork, information about LGBTQ2SA+ friendly spaces in Hamilton and several pieces on sexual health and wellness. We also added our feature and sports section to the fun with some themed articles and decided to have a launch party for it — which you should come to, tonight at Redchurch Cafe from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Special issues allow our staff and contributors to stray from our usual content and dive into topics that interest them, never minding what may be too taboo for our weekly issue. It allows our production team to really show off how talented they are. Most importantly, it allows us to stray from the ordinary and be as creative as we want.


In light of recent discussions made by the Student Representative Assembly concerning the fate of Incite Magazine, talks of the supposed “death of print” have once again circulated campus.

Incite Magazine is McMaster University’s creative arts and writing publication featuring student work across a wide range of mediums. The magazine, which prints three times a year, is entirely student-led and student-funded, receiving $1.02 per student annually.

Recently, the Finance Committee of the SRA made the recommendation to send Incite Magazine to referendum to determine its budget. If passed, the referendum had the potential to reduce Incite’s budget byhalf, or even remove it altogether.  

When a university that arguably undervalues the arts proposes cutting funding from a magazine that serves as one of the few remaining spaces on campus for creatives, the student body should be alarmed. While the motion to send Incite Magazine to referendum failed to pass at the SRA meeting on Jan. 6, even the idea that the magazine could nix their print publications and simply “shift their operations to an online platform” has harmful implications.

It’s no secret that many publications are going digital. Just last year, Teen Vogue, a popular magazine among millennials, discontinued their print editions. As more publications shift towards an all-digital platform, advocates for print media must stand strong.

But if the content is the same online, why bother printing? Print publications are much more than their content — it’s the experience of reading a print magazine that holds value. Content is obviously important but elements of production including graphic designs and layouts add just as much value to the finished product as the content itself.

Studies have even shown that time after time, readers will continuously choose printed magazines over their digital counterparts. Unsurprisingly, after a transition to an entirely digital platform, those print readers aren’t transitioning with the publication. They’re just gone.

Consider where you’re reading this editorial. Chances are, you picked up a copy of The Silhouette offhand, flipped through the contents, and skimmed the articles that piqued your interest. As far as technology has advanced, this experience cannot be replicated online.

So no, print isn’t dead. Nor should it be. As an editor of both The Silhouette and Incite Magazine, I’ve witnessed firsthand the hard work and dedication put into creating print publications. It’s my hope that readers recognize the efforts put into each issue and stand in support of print publications.


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