Twin Issue XIX

10.10.2018 | Art , Blog , Culture , Twin Book | BY:

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Twin issue XIX is all about not following the expected path – you could say the heroes and heroines of this issue are are rebels, but more importantly they’re pioneers. Leading with energy, humour and fearlessness that knocks you sideways. A celebration of speaking up and standing out. 

The contributors to this new issue of Twin are all united by their insanely individual talent. Cass Bird celebrates the mesmeric Mette Towley, star of Rihanna and N.E.R.D’s smash hit Lemon, on a low-tempo day while Fanny Latour Lambert brings the strange and surreal home. Actress Indira Varma talks about women’s power in the post #metoo movement.

Stefanie Moshammer heads to Mühlviertel for energetic family frolicks while Charlotte James and Sebastian Bruno let loose inside Merthyr’s famous social club. You’ll be thrown into a swashbuckling tribute to Shakespearian England courtesy of Scott Trindle’s epic imagination. 

The history and contemporary importance of afro hair salons in South London is explored by Sophie Green and Lynda Cowell while Emma Tempest creates contrasts with Veronique Didry against a striking natural landscapes. Lara Johnson-Wheeler chats to Niall O’Brien about documenting the unseen world within a world at Lourdes, while Agnes Lloyd-Platt makes you double take with her striking vivid shots around San Roque, Cadiz. It’s a knock out.

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Sophie Green’s Bangers & Smash

03.02.2015 | Art | BY:

South London photographer Sophie Green, 23, has delved into the uncharted, colourful subculture of banger racing to produce Bangers & Smash, a collection of images taken at racing meets at Wimbledon Stadium. Full of highly evocative photographs that have a truly hypnotic quality, the collection documents a community that is little-known and little understood by those outside it, yet has an irresistible draw for those within.

Twin catches up with Sophie to discuss what lured her to this mysterious sport, and to find out about her exciting year ahead.

How did you get into photography?
I’ve always been creative and the art room at school was the one place I felt confident and self-assured, and I felt particularly connected to photography. I started to look at everything with photographer’s eyes, seeing everything through a frame, and wanting to take pictures all the time. I went on to do a degree in Fashion Photography at London College of Fashion. After graduating, I full time-assisted photographers Tom Craig and Mel Bles for a couple of years and now I’m working freelance.

Which photographer/artist inspires you most? Can you see their influences in your work?
I’m very inspired by cinema; Andrea Arnold, Pawel Pawlikowski and Duane Hopkins are just a few directors that heavily influence me. Visually and stylistically I love photography that has a cinematic quality – photographs that look like film stills.

I like my work to have a cinematic look because it has a level of reality. It feels like perhaps you’re looking at a scene and moment where you see something unfolding. You question the story in the image, the relationship between the people and the place and why the subject is composed in a particular way.

You’ve created a variety of different projects – what inspires you?
I am just a very curious person. I’m particularly inquisitive about people. I feel compelled to meet people and find out their story. I use photography as a way to explore the world around me. I love projects I can learn from or discover something new. I want my work to reflect a vision and tell a story.

What do you look for in the people whose photos you take?
I try to find people who have something special. Sometimes I am just struck by the way people look, I can’t explain what it is. Maybe it’s intuition. I like people that are unconventionally beautiful. In a human face you can read an entire range of human emotion. I find some faces just tell a story.

I like recognising a beauty in people that they were not aware they had. A lot of people can’t understand my fascination with them, they say ‘why me?’

Tell me about your most recent project, Bangers & Smash. Why did you decide to do it?
I’ve been documenting the Stock Car and Banger racing subculture. I stumbled across a racing meet at Wimbledon Stadium one Sunday afternoon by accident and became totally immersed in this colourful world. This is a culture that I wasn’t aware existed before. Instantly I saw it as a great environment to take pictures, full of peculiar scenes and interesting faces everywhere.

I’ve been back to Wimbledon Stadium multiple times, capturing the sport and the community in its most revealing and honest form. The process was very organic and the series is a spontaneous, intuitive reaction to what I observed, documenting not only the racing drivers, but also their families and friends who all go to support.

The majority of competitors have family relations to introduce them to the sport. The junior formula is age 10-16, when you’re 16+ you can race any formula you like, so all ages are really integrated; you could be a 16 year old girl competing against a 55 year old man.

Competitors pour their heart, souls and money into the sport; it’s a way of life for them; they have mentioned how they have missed weddings, parties and holidays to go to race meetings. One man said to me “We often say what do normal people do at weekends?” Parents have described how it gives their children a focus in life. It keeps them from getting into the wrong crowd because racing keeps them so occupied.

All competitors describe this huge buzz and adrenaline rush they get from the sport. It’s total escapism from the normality of everyday life. Competitors say when they’re in the drivers seat they enter a different zone and all their problems go away because the only focus is racing.

I’ve recently been selected for the Magnum/Ideastap Photographic Award for Bangers & Smash and their grant has enabled me to continue developing this project. Over the last few months I’ve been shooting a lot so I will have more exciting work to show over the next few months. Watch this space.

Which is your favourite photo from the project?
I’d have to say my favourite would be the portrait of Danielle –The devoted girlfriend who’s watching her boyfriend race around the track from the safety of the stands. I love the stars tattooed on her back and the way her hair is perfectly placed in front of her shoulder. Danielle was all made up, in her dress, makeup and jewelry and it just seemed such an interesting juxtaposition to me against the dirty, outdated backdrop of Wimbledon Stadium.

 What can we expect to see from you in the future?
I started 2015 with a very exciting collaboration with Vice. They have been filming me as part of their documentary series called Picture Perfect. The series follows individual photographers shooting projects and a master interview about the project/their career. The documentary will be out mid- February.

You can expect to see more from my on-going collaboration with the charity Tomorrow’s People; a specialist employment charity whose mission is to help marginalised people in the most challenging situations to get and keep a job. Tomorrow’s People run employment programmes in some of the most deprived areas of the country and focus their support on people who are the hardest to help, helping them to overcome the barriers they face so that they can move into employment or training, or back to education.

Over the last few months I’ve been working intensively on a portrait project for the charity. This portrait series aims to raise awareness of the charity and to also give recognition to the personal and unique stories of each individual. Each subject has their own inspiring story of moving on from a world of social exclusion and disadvantage. This portrait series will form an exhibition for the charity, which is running throughout major fundraising and political campaigning events.

sophiegreenphotography.com

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