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Lady Skollie Doesn’t Play By Anybody’s rules

26.03.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

South African artist Lady Skollie is a creative force to be reckoned with. Born in 1987 Lady Skollie (real name Laura Windvoge) is part of a new generation of artists in South Africa who are working within and against the digital sphere, and her work emanates a captivating and sensual energy across the range of mediums that she works with. Her most recent, and first solo, exhibition ‘Lust Politics’ at the Tyburn Gallery gave the city a riveting introduction to her provocative vision, and followed on from an acclaimed stint at Frieze last year. Twin caught up with Lady Skollie to talk working in South Africa, having a sense of humour and how women are going to lift each other up.

 Growing up, were you always inclined to express yourself visually? How did your aesthetic develop?

When I was about 4 the Zorro franchise was really taking off in South Africa. I crawled underneath my mum’s tables, beds, inside cupboards and covered everything’s underside with wax crayon Z’s – all in different sizes. I remember being terrified that my mother would realize. So I suppose I have always expressed myself visually. When I was younger I thought that to be an artist you needed to paint realistically, and then I understood that my mark making did not need to be mimetic to be respected or convey a message. I took inspiration from Khoisan drawings because of my own Khoisan culture – as a coloured South African, and my work just became hard, fast, fluid.

Where did the name Lady Skollie come from?

Lady Skollie, for me, has been a lesson in identity. I’ve always had these disparate elements of my personality. Not long ago I wore cute 1950s dresses and had ringlets. Although I looked like a lady, inside I felt this urge to rail against authority and challenge the norm. I would talk about sex and paint little dicks on people’s things. Lady Skollie was a performative thing; it was the space where these two things -masculinity and femininity – met.

 Your work is striking and honest, drawing on personal experience. When you started did you ever worry that it wouldn’t resonate with a wider audience?

No, this was never a worry really because I also draw on a range of socio-political issues, like rape, rape culture and plight of women, which are so prevalent within our wider society. They are issues which everyone, even those outside South Africa, should engage with.

It is time for people to feel uncomfortable, and for people to ask themselves very hard questions about how they relate to women, how they treat them, how they talk to them.

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Your most recent exhibition was called Lust Politics. Do you think there is always a relationship between the visceral and the political?

Yes, from Monica Lewinsky to Marilyn Monroe to politicians blocking any means for women to have a more equal life or even just reproductive rights. I think there has always been a love hate relationship between politics and lust.

The names of your work are as powerful as the pieces themselves, which comes first when you start to create?

Usually the writing comes first. The works come separately and then I edit and chop to make the writing and the work correlate more.

You’re wrestling with gender, sex and societal structures, why did you want to investigate these ideas in ink and crayon?

I like the tension between a granny-like medium like watercolour and the garish, crayon drawings of sex. Depicting something as visceral as sex with a medium as soft and delicate as watercolour and childlike crayon is thrilling.

Why do you want to use humour in your work?

In South Africa humour is often used a vehicle for social change. People don’t always want to listen if you are being serious. They would rather not listen to preaching and they don’t want to hear about rape stats, HIV stats, etc. I think in some ways I’m pretty funny, so I use humour as a way of unwrapping serious issues in a palatable way – so that people will actually start thinking about change.

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One of your pieces focusses on the ups and downs of competitive sisterhood. As you see it, how can women better enable each other?

Women need to engage with each other about issues; communication is key to a united front, and we need one. At the moment, I definitely feel part of a zeitgeist and movement, especially in South Africa, where women are speaking up against feminine debasement and subjugation. Whether we make a social commentary with watercolours or whether we post an online status – that is what I’m part of. 

How does Johannesburg influence your work?

J’burg pushes you to achieve things you might have only ever thought about; it’s a city that’s totally alive. My surroundings make a big impact on my work, and I think it’s important to address issues around gender and sexuality because Johannesburg, and South Africa in general, is rife with sexual assaults and abuse. Art is an accessible way to bring up the narrative and I think we need to talk about it more and more and more.

Is now an exciting time to be an artist in South Africa?

Being an artist in South Africa right now is very important and very exciting. Finally the international market is catching on, and it’s actually becoming a financially viable option. In J’burg there are a lot of new independent studios opening where people are reclaiming spaces, especially in Troyeville which was a huge centre of resistance during apartheid. Most of Troyeville is studios, huge buildings which were abandoned in the ‘70s and are now being taken over and are really cost-effective. People are now offering funded residencies. As a creative person it’s a real privilege to have a space to make, without the worries of having to generate a huge income to sustain it.

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What are your processes when working? Do you have a specific routine?

It’s difficult to say, because my process entirely varies; I don’t really have a specific routine when it comes to making work. However, usually I think about the image for a long time before making a single mark. Sometimes I write about the work before I create it, which allows me to have a context for it. I listen to a lot of hip hop in the studio; hip hop can take you places and it especially helps me with confidence. 

Who are the artists that inspire you?

I am totally inspired by Athi Patra Ruga’s ability to immerse you into his world without even trying. Also Robert Mapplethorpe, for his beautiful way of shocking and Mary Sibande for her sheer brilliance of identity dynamics.

What’s next for you? And what are you most excited about?

I prefer not to talk about ‘what’s next’. I am in the present; I’m hard, fast, now. I don’t play to anybody’s rules. I am a rebellious person!

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Fall into Ruin: William E. Jones at The Modern Institute

24.03.2017 | Culture , Film | BY:

William E Jones, one of Los Angeles’ foremost independent film makers, once wrote of his work: “I am making my own explosions, in another context.” He was referring to the veneration of big budget Hollywood films to include explosions; Jones has created films which focus on visual stimulation rather than coherent narratives. Jones’ wide ranging body of work, such as feature length films Finished (1997) and Is It Really So Strange? (2004), have dealt with issues of sexuality, deception and artistic and social façades. Jones’ latest project Fall Into Ruin promises a return to these themes as it makes its debut at The Modern Institute, Glasgow.

In Fall Into Ruin, Jones converges with an equally impressionable and multifaceted character, that of Alexander Iolas, the eminent Greek art dealer. The film documents the artist’s return to the property of Iolas, situated in an Athenian suburb. The art dealer became well known for his affiliation with surrealists such as Max Ernst and his championing of late Picasso works. He remains a figure of mystery within the art world; indeed, his own age was never discovered due to the continual changes he made to his date of birth on his passport. Fall Into Ruin is an investigation into the life of the Iolas through a visual catalogue of the now uninhabited remnants of his homely estate. Once described as a showroom rather than a private residence, the film contrasts the current state of the building; vandalised, defaced by graffiti and looted of its contents – including his esteemed art collection. This makes an interesting comparison to Iolas himself, whom was said to mix with both the top sectors of society for business and the very bottom sectors of society for pleasure. Set among the warm, dusty Athenian landscape, the film explores the intersection of two opposing sides of the art market and marks a new fold in Jones’ ever flourishing career.

The running time of Fall into Ruin is exactly 30 minutes. Screenings will begin every half hour between 10 am – 6 pm (Monday – Friday) and 12 pm – 5 pm (Saturday) at The Modern Institute, Glasgow

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Credit: Lily-Rose Depp Instagram

Icon Du Jour

22.03.2017 | Beauty | BY:

We’re happy to admit a certain fascination with Lily-Rose Depp, the face of the new makeup campaign for Chanel’s ROUGE COCO GLOSS, following on from her N°5 L’EAU perfume campaign debut for the brand last year.

Not many can claim a pedigree such as hers; the child of actors Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis, Lily-Rose is a name to know now, and not just due to her illustrious parentage and remarkable beauty (though if there is such a thing as the Genetic Lottery, this girl has the winning ticket). Having won awards for her turn as dancer Isadora Duncan in Les Danseuse last year and now enjoying the much-coveted gig with Chanel, the alluring Depp lives a thoroughly charmed life it would seem… and all at the tender age of 17.

Taking the reins at Chanel from her much-celebrated maman – who’s also been a face of the iconic brand since the 90s – it’s clear that beauty is a family affair with these two: the resemblance is more than just fleeting, making Depp an inspired choice for reaching the heritage fashion house’s younger buyers, while Paradis resonates with the more established Chanel market. Depp lends Chanel Beauty something modern, insouciant and of course, quintessentially French: watch this face.

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Chained to the Rhythm

16.03.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Looking for a fiery fashion fix? We’ve fallen head over heels for Saint Laurent’s accessories. For SS17, the brand has taken disco-glam to the next level: from snakeskin slingbacks with ruched ‘leaf’ detail to versatile black leather Love Box bags, these are designs made for nights out. Get ready to behave bad and bougee. We’ll see you under the disco ball.

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Feeling Emoji-nal

12.03.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Excuse the pun, we couldn’t help it – such is the excitement at Acne’s latest Resort 2017 drop of Emoji themed apparel. Featuring a classic combination of teddy bears, mushrooms and peace signs (we use classic a little lightly) the collection is printed across unisex sweatshirts and teeshirts in bright colours and tye dye hues.

Call us clichéd but as the summer months approach, something a little more frivolous is what we’re craving right now. This new line checks all the boxes for a relaxed, breezy look with the added bonus of promising to instantly refresh well-worn staples.

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Louis Vuitton AW17

09.03.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For AW17, Nicholas Ghesquière investigated notions of borders and boundaries. Set in the majestic surroundings of the Louvre, Louis Vuitton’s Autumn-Winter collection aimed to negate frontiers and shift into an evocation of the nomadic –  city blends with distant landscapes, masculine blurs with feminine, day fades into night and the heritage of the House, meets a thirst for the future.

The result was a truly global collection, which drew inspiration from American sportswear classics and Slavic accents, the über feminine and the romantic gothic. In short, the kind of world we’d love to live in. Watch the full Louis Vuitton AW17 collection here.

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Seana Gavin X Super/Collider

07.03.2017 | Art , Blog | BY:

Artist Seana Gavin has rummaged in the super/collider’s library of vintage science books and world encyclopaedias to create surreal collages of imagined landscapes.

Inspired by a mutual love of old educational materials, each collage draws on anthropology, space exploration, mineralogy, botany and astronomy – transforming hard science into a series of otherworldly scenes that are both playful and slightly unsettling, existing outside of any recognisable time or place.

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The three new prints follows on from Gavin’s ‘Cosmic Worlds’ series in 2011, which similarly depicted otherworldly scenarios.

The triptych – Planetoid Life, Time Traveller and Liberty Sunset – are available to buy on super/collider now.

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Lost in the library

06.03.2017 | Beauty , Blog | BY:

As winter draws to an end, there’s no better way to welcome a new season than with a new scent. For those who want to take the romance of cosying up with a good novel with them wherever they go, BYREDO’s new perfume Bibliothèque will prove positively dreamy.

Peach, plum and vanilla notes fuse to evoke that unforgettable scent of fresh pages, strengthened by hints of patchouli and leather. Originally a candle and then a room spray, the Eau de Parfum will be released for a limited time only.

 

Bibliothèque Eau de Parfum (100ml / £150) is available from March.

 

 

 

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Gender, Identity and Material for IWD

05.03.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

To celebrate International Women’s Day, the Royal Academy will be hosting a series of events, talks and screenings throughout the week.

During screenings this weekend, the themes of gender, identity and material were explored through films by alumni and current graduates. Over the next few days, a diverse range of talks and tours will investigate what it means to be a women in today’s society, and how women have previously been portrayed in art across the world.  Highlights include the ‘Gendered Materials’ talk that will pose questions such as ‘what is the relationship between gender and materials in art practice?’ and ‘how do materials and scale used in art practice help to define gender?’

Discover the whole programme of events here.

 

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Sailing at High Tide with Tennis

01.03.2017 | Culture , Music | BY:

The story behind Tennis is very charming.  The Denver-based band, made up of husband and wife duo Patrick Riley and Alaina Moore, was born out of wanderlust. Sailing down the Atlantic coast, the pair embarked on their first attempt at making music together and created their premier album, “Cape Dory”.

Seven years later and now a “proper band”, they have come full circle: to create their fourth album, “Yours Conditionally” they sailed around the Pacific. Swooning love songs framed by dreamy melodies echo their romantic story but it’s evident that Tennis goes deeper this time around. Working out the complexities that define love, identity, and feminism, the latest album sees the band at their best yet, pairing their back-to-basics approach with a worldly confidence.

Twin catches up with Alaina to find out how it’s done.

Tell us more about the album title, “Yours Conditionally”.

It was about boundaries with regards to my relationship with the world. It included my marriage, my friendships. Over the years, I feel like I was unintentionally conforming to certain things and expectations and ideals of like how a woman should be, whether it’s a writer and a performer or a wife. I thought of how unromantic it would be if I signed a letter to Patrick, “Yours Conditionally”. And we were laughing about it but then he was kind of like, no, but that means so much.

So was it about a more mature and sensible love?

Exactly. I’m a little cynical towards romance and forever and all those things and yet here I am in this long term, straight, monogamous marriage. I try to challenge myself to do better. If I’m going to write a love song, I try to do something different. I want to write a love song that’s sincere and smart and not identity erasing or self-effacing, which love songs tend to be.

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How conditional do you think the record turned out to be?

I’ve actually made a conscious decision with this record to be a lot more open, taking more emotional risks, because I noticed that whenever I did do that with the song, I feel like people responded more, even if they didn’t exactly know what I was referring to within my own life. It’s like a symbiotic relationship. So I set that goal for myself, to do more work and be a little less guarded.

In terms of your process, were you looking to get back to the simplicity of the beginning? 

That’s exactly what we were looking for. And I don’t think it had to be the sailing trip so much as it was eliminating the ways in which we were trying to prop up the expectations of the industry. We gave ourselves permission to undo everything we’d ever done for the sake of making whatever we wanted with the same sincerity and goal of just pleasing ourselves, as we had with the first record.

What was that like?

It just felt so good, I can’t explain it. It brought back the joy of writing, the freedom of the first record but with some measure of skill and ability of having made several albums.

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Listening back to “Yours Conditionally”, how do you think your music has changed? 

I definitely hear maturity. When I listen back to our previous records I hear all the ways in which we were experimenting and growing and trying new things. I hear that sort of transformation throughout all our records and this record is really a pleasure to sing because I was able to write myself in mind instead of pretending I was somebody else.

What are you and Patrick looking forward to as Tennis?

I am definitely looking forward to Coachella. That’s going to be a very surreal experience, especially having grown up going to the festival. I was nineteen when I went to see Radiohead, and now we are going to be playing on the same day as Radiohead!

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That’s incredible, congratulations!

Isn’t it? It’s almost like a life achievement that I didn’t even know I would want. If someone asked me, make a list of life goals, I couldn’t have even thought of this one, so I am very pleased (laughs).

And in your personal lives?

I think we want to sail across an ocean….

Yours Conditionally is out 10th March, pre-order here.

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Forever Chuck: The Icons of L.A.

25.02.2017 | Culture , Fashion | BY:

A three-part series ‘Chuck Forever’ explores the core cultural scenes that have made Chuck Taylors so iconic. In the latest instalment we are transported to LA, where Long Beach recording artist and style icon Vince Staples guides viewers through Chuck Taylor’s influence on street style and hip hop music in urban Los Angeles.

The video, directed by award-winning filmmaker Karim Huu Do, taps into Los Angeles’ youth culture; it shows how music and fashion combine to build enduring subcultures. During the film, viewers are also introduced to Los Angeles Lakers star Jordan Clarkson, and Born and Raised founder Spanto, who each explain their relationship with Chucks, and talk us through the way they choose to dress.

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Julien Cahn, the Chief Marketing Officer at Converse, explains how, “Los Angeles has played an important role in revolutionising youth culture far beyond the west coast. Chuck Taylor has been part of all of that. He’s a symbol for underdogs, rebels and individualists all around the world.”

The newly launched series focuses on the daring, confident spirit of youth culture and celebrates the impact of Chucks on diverse cultural scenes all over the world. In the first instalment, Stranger Things star Mille Bobbie Brown introduced us to the use of Chucks in film, asking what kinds of characters wear them, and why?

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Dancing in Dreams: An Interview With Claire Barrow

23.02.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture , Fashion | BY:

Twin catches up with fashion designer and artist Claire Barrow to talk about her new exhibition, and how fashion can help to fight prejudice during these uncertain times.

How did the collaboration between yourself and Galeria Melissa come about?

I was approached from them a while ago but the installation idea started to take shape towards the end of last year. Melissa‘s shoes are completely recycled, waste free and 100% animal free so I’m really into that. It’s been on my wishlist for a long time to work with larger company with great ethics like theirs and I’m also really into what they do with collaborations. Ow, and the smell of the PVC is really good (all the shoes smell like rubber and strawberries.)

What was your starting point for the project, and what were you inspired by?

I wanted to combine performance and sculpture that also used digital in some way, so I think it started there then the idea grew and it become human size sculptures and digital projections of people performing next to them. I just wanted to do everything at once. So we have digital, music, film, performance, costume, movement.
So, the piece addresses the ‘judging’ of people, and the initial ideas you have of someone before they even speak. So, these ‘people’ (sculptures) will never get the chance to communicate but how can the performers work with them to make them feel animated. Then the fact that the ‘real’ people aren’t really there, but digital also signifies our online communication with friends, feeling less lonely but not seeing them IRL. We are all on our phones and computers too much now that I don’t want to miss that out in my work. I try to use the everyday and this is our new reality.

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What were your design references for this piece? Was there particular reason that you were drawn to use pearls and a muted palette? 

I’ve been trying to not use references in my work to much unless I have to explain my idea’s to someone else in the team as I would like the ideas to come from somewhere inside my head or from a drawing I have done. My subconscious will have maybe seen references in the past, or that day on Instagram, but then it will be a distorted version that sticks. I took a lot from my own life and childhood for this project.

I took a train ride over Christmas time past the old British Steel in Teeside, (a steel works that closed a few years ago leading to the loss of thousands of jobs, which is just stood rotting), and the light was so beautiful and metal so glittery I sort of took it from an imagined version of that then also the idea of ‘high glamour’ too, so jewellery and make-up and sparkle. So I chose the pearls and muted palette and crystals in like, ‘powdered’ down version of primary or secondary colours. Different types of camouflage feature heavily too.

What are your hopes for the exhibition, and what are you most excited about?

It was brilliant to work with the team on the video. I cast Sameena who was in the Daniel Wolfe film ‘Catch Me Daddy’ a few years ago and hasn’t acted since. So it was an honour she actually said yes to me!

It’s the first time I’d worked with Joseph Bird to who’s a reasonably new film director and also Taigen and Ken (Bo Ningen) on the music. I’ve been meaning to work with them for years we were just looking for the right project.

The five characters all take on different roles but very much improvise and added their own ideas to each part. I had designed the costumes and given anecdotes from my own experiences to show them which helped form the characters.

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And finally, in such uncertain times, what role do you think fashion has in challenging assumptions and prejudices more widely?

Design wise I think the most interesting work is coming from people who don’t limit themselves to being creative within the fashion system. I don’t see anything particularly progressive happening with bigger brands currently but maybe this will change during times of extreme political unrest if they feel it necessary.

It’s like, they need to stand up for injustice but also to fix problems within their own companies such as material wastage and paying workers fairly. That’s why it’s brilliant to be associated with a large brand like Melissa whom are dedicated to keeping everything recycled and looking after their staff in Brazil.

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Shrimps AW17

20.02.2017 | Fashion | BY:

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Photos by Mafalda Silva for Twin.

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Topshop AW17

19.02.2017 | Fashion | BY:

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Photos by Mafalda Silva for Twin.

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Molly Goddard AW17

18.02.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

For AW17, Molly Goddard brought audiences into a sumptuous banquet, where models sauntered around the Tate Modern show space in signature tulle dresses. This collection offered a veritable feast – aesthetically and literally within the presentation – where creamy pinks and reds mingled with azure, a bold use of metallic silver flashes and delicate embroidery throughout.

This collection showed Goddard at her most diverse to date, walking trousers and cropped, peplum inspired jackets as well as the silhouettes she has become famous for. We can’t wait to see where she takes her brands over the course of 2017.

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Photographs by Mafalda Silva for Twin.

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Haunting and beautiful: Watch Gareth Pugh’s AW17 Film

18.02.2017 | Fashion | BY:

Contrasting rich, buttery song with a brutalist aesthetic, the teaser film released by Gareth Pugh ahead of his AW17 show tonight has us tingling with excitement.

Directed by Pugh’s long-time collaborators Ruth Hogben and Andrea Gelardin, the startling black and white aesthetic is infused with powerful sound courtesy of Rebekah Del Rio – star of David Lynch’s Mulholland Drive – who performs a haunting version of her signature song ‘Llorando.’

The film opens with a quote from Shakespeare’s King Lear, “‘Tis’ the time’s plague when madmen lead the blind”, setting a strong precedent for a political context in his AW17 show. As Pugh notes, the film is “a vision of a world on the precipice of anarchy.”

If Pugh’s previous shows are anything to go by, audiences can expect his AW17 collection to be a damning indictment on the state of current affairs.

In the meantime, watch Gareth Pugh’s AW17 film here.

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Twin Sister: Meet Rose Pilkington

18.02.2017 | Art , Blog , Culture | BY:

Readers, meet Rose Pilkington: her magic manipulation of colour and form has us all hot under the collar. And yes, Rose happens to have designed the cover for Twin issue XV, but we swear we’re not biased when we say you’re guaranteed to fall in love with her work. Designs are playful, bright and hypnotic; she creates graphics to be remembered and stand out. With previous clients that include Jamie XX, H&M and MTV, expect to see much much more of Pilkington in 2017.

On the only snowy day in January, photographer Joe Quigg headed to east London to hang out with Rose and capture the woman splashing colour into your life.

First off, the cover looks amazing! What was the inspiration behind the design?

It was actually a very open brief which is aways a treat be given. Becky wanted to work with an artist to create some bespoke graphics for both covers, so I made them abstract and vivid so as be eye catching.

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Specifically, what is it about the colour pink that you find interesting? 

I have a life long relationship with colour, but out of the whole spectrum its the one colour that my eye draws too the most, and I’m not entirely sure why. Though i’ve never connected to the colour by its usual association, being categorized typically as a ‘feminine’ colour, which in itself is growing to be an old fashioned connection. Looking at my body of work I can see how subconsciously its made its way into most of my projects, as it is a sort of go-too for me. Funnily enough ive had a client or two who has requested ‘not too much pink’ in the past. For me I mostly judge aesthetically pleasing imagery by way of colour, and I believe pink emits positive vibrations and is a both calming but mentally stimulating colour.

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You have a very distinct aesthetic, how did your style develop? Was there a certain point where you felt you had discovered your voice? 

Things really started falling into place in my final year at Central Saint Martins (Graphic Design / Moving Image) I was literally given the opportunity to focus soley on subjects, themes and ideas that fascinated me and it was one of my most inspired times. It was also when I started learning 3D software which changed and informed the way I made my work.

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There’s always a sense of movement in your work – whether it’s colour fades or through organic forms – what interests you about creating images that convey a sense of change? 

Its hard to say, I think those sorts of visual decisions are instinctive, as is my approach to colour. I’m also constantly switching between moving image and still projects, so maybe that also has a part to play in it somewhere.

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Divine Proportions

16.02.2017 | Blog , Twin Video | BY:

Twin meets one half of New York-based brand 1.61, to discover how to make the perfect pair of trousers.

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Dreeams can come true

16.02.2017 | Blog , Twin Video | BY:

For Resort 2017, Chanel staged a sartorial carnival on the streets of Cuba, which was both heart and home to Ernest Hemingway for many years. So it seems only fitting that the writer’s great-granddaughter, Dree, takes the collection out for a spin on the open road.

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Everything You Need To Know About Topshop’s new face

16.02.2017 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

Topshop has announced a totally fresh model to front their SS17 campaign. Her name is Lily Jean Harvey and although she’s new on the scene, you should expect to see a lot more of her in seasons to come. Twin brings you the need-t0-know stats on this model to watch.

Brought up in Newark, just outside Nottingham, Lily Jean was scouted whilst on a swing outside King’s Cross station. She catwalk show was for UNIQUE in September, and while she’s already racked up an impressive wardrobe, she remembers that the piece that sparked her love of the brand was a petite jersey dress with red, white, and blue stripes.

When Lily isn’t in front of the lens, she’s likely to be partying to Drake or watching her favourite film, Shutter Island. Kind of like your average 17 year old. ish.

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