TWIN PICKS: Deana Lawson

19.05.2022 | Blog | BY:

Deana Lawson’s work harnesses the tropes of family portraiture to create images at once intimate, familial, and spiritual. This week she has been recognised as the force she is, and awarded the Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize for having made the most significant contribution to the world of photography in 2022.

The prize was awarded to Lawson at The Photographers’ Gallery in London, in recognition of her 2020 solo exhibition Centropy at Kunsthalle Basel. Fusing the family album with unsettling elements like ‘portals’ into other worlds, her photography reclaims the Black subject as “creative, godlike beings.” Though her sitters are mostly strangers, Lawson describes her works as the process of building “an ever-expanding mythological extended family” to explore intergenerational relationships and their effects within Black culture.

Brett Rogers OBE, Director, The Photographers’ Gallery and chair of the Jury that named her winner, said:

“Deana Lawson is a deserved winner of this year’s prize not least for the sheer inventiveness and complexity of her approach to image making. Her work, which reframes and reclaims the Black experience, harnesses the traditional and the experimental and opens up a very unique connection between the everyday and the mystical. Her subject matter sits somewhere between the ‘here and now’ and the past, a person and a people, the staged and the naturalistic, in a manner which is not didactic or issue driven, but genuinely radical”.

The presentation at The Photographers’ Gallery marks Lawson’s first institutional show in the UK. The exhibition showcasing the four shortlisted artists for 2022 – Anastasia Samoylova, Jo Ractliffe, Deana Lawson and Gilles Peress – is curated by TPG’s Katrina Schwarz and will be displayed at The Photographers’ Gallery until 12 June 2022.

TWIN PICKS: NEW AGE B2B – Stonehenge to Jungle

13.05.2022 | Blog , Culture | BY:

Ever wondered what a party flyer from a 1973 Stonehenge free festival looks like? Or a design promoting a 1980 illegal warehouse party? NEW AGE B2B – Stonehenge to Jungle scratches that itch.  A compendium of flyers and collectibles from subculture archivist Toby Mott charts the origin of hedonistic rebellion and utopia.

The comprehensive collection by the London-based artist traverses the Stonehenge and Free Festivals, through to 1980s illegal warehouse parties and acid house, sound system and dub clashes, rave, and finally jungle. With art and design direction by Jamie Reid, former art director of Dazed and Confused magazine, party flyers from the 1970s to 2000 are sourced and curated from the Mott Collection. Known for his work with the Grey Organisation – an artist’s collective that was active in the 1980s – and for his fashion brand Toby PiImlico, Mott went on to establish an archive of British popular culture from punk to rave.

575 entries of flyers and other collectables showcase the visions of masters like Pez and Junior Tomlin – the Salvador Dalí of Rave – charting youth rebellions for a generation. Alongside the artwork, the book features interviews with the trailblazing designers alongside documentary photographer Alan Lodge, record producer Chris Peckings, DJ and Spiral Tribe member Ixyndamix among many more. 

Moving beyond the music, Mott offers an insightful look back on British party culture that digs into its roots. Bringing together reggae, rave and sound system culture, the collection charts the often overlooked impact of the Black British community on rave music. 

ICA | Book Launch: New Age B2B – Stonehenge to Jungle.
New Age B2B – Stonehenge to Jungle is published by Corina Manu, Cultural Traffic and Dashwood Books.

TWIN MEETS: Incubator 22

09.05.2022 | Art , Blog | BY:

Following the success of Incubator 21, Angelica Jopling is back with Incubator 22, a six-week-long programme spotlighting six new London-based emerging artists who have never had a solo show. The consecutive exhibitions showcase London-based emerging artists, Mary Stephenson, Xavia Duke Richards, John Richard, Archie Boon, C. Lucy R. Whitehead, and Alicja Biala.

In residence at London’s A. Society in Chiltern Street, Twin caught up with the exhibition’s founder and curator, Angelica Jopling, to discuss platforming young artists and her collaborative approach to curation. 

Can you explain the intention behind Incubator 22?

The idea for ‘Incubator’ stemmed from a failed grant proposal I wrote in 2018. I wanted to provide a platform for young artists to show their work in a collaborative space with maximum freedom. The general aim was, and continues to be, to reflect the energy and shifting cultural face of a city through the eyes of emerging artists. One of the hardest stages of an artist’s career is the beginning when they’re attempting to articulate a sensibility. Emerging artists rarely have the opportunity to present their work in a solo capacity. Yet this can paradoxically be a great catalyst for artists to take risks, be experimental, and create a cohesive body of work for a show.

Can you explain how you decide which artists to feature?

It varies. I typically visit many different artist’s studios before deciding who will be shown at Incubator. Beyond the work itself, the attributes I’m most drawn to in an artist are a genuine passion and confidence in their work as well as a distinct vision of what they wish to execute in the space. 

How do you approach your role as curator?

I love working with artists at the beginning of their careers and giving them the space to create freely. I like to spend a lot of active time in the studios, discussing their process, refining ideas, and understanding their inspirations and what drives their work. All of which influences the approach when it’s time to install. The collaborative approach extends to my work with Clara Galperin -Incubator’s curatorial consultant – who has helped to shape the vision. 

Incubator 22 is now open at A. Society, 2 Chiltern Street, London, W1U 7PR by appointment

TWIN PICKS: Palm* Photo Prize 2022 Shortlist

26.04.2022 | Art , Blog | BY:

A landmark event in the annual photography calendar, The Palm* Photo Prize shines a spotlight on the photographers to watch. The team behind the prize has announced its shortlist for 2022. With an overwhelming 6800+ submissions this year, they have painstakingly whittled it down to 108 photographs. And they do not disappoint.

A mix of portraiture and landscape works, the shortlist reflects the international appeal of this competition. From London to Brooklyn, Kyiv to Tel Aviv, there is a breadth to this year’s shortlist that showcases each photographer’s unique aesthetic. 

Michelle Sank’s posed portrait of Miss Drag SA, as well as Megan Eagle’s intimate portrait of a mother breastfeeding her young child are standouts in the selection.  Elsewhere there’s Camille Lemoine’s capture of a young girl astride a horse and a simple evocation of play in a black and white portrait of a boy skimming stones by Isabel Martin.

The judges, which include the likes of Alastair McKimm and Lola Paprocka, will work on the selection of 20 finalists, and eventually decide on first and second place. Shortlisted images will also be in the running for the Canvas Represents Mentorship Award and the People’s Choice Award will be decided by a voting system open to the public via the website. 


The Palm* Photo Prize exhibition will be on display at 10 14 Gallery from 5th May – 5th June, sponsored by Spectrum & INK and partners Picter, Canvas Represents, Lock Studios, 10 14 Gallery, Labyrinth Photographic and i-D.

Twin Issue XXVI

14.04.2022 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

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“Being human, our capacity to imagine allows us to re-envision the future in new and provocative ways.” says Kate Wong, Chinese-Canadian curator, writer and poet working as assistant curator at the Serpentine Galleries. Wong’s practice is currently centred on understanding the dehumanising dimensions of humanism, and her comment speaks to wider themes of our latest issue, where we’re platforming the creatives who work with unfamiliar and irregular to creatively challenge the status quo.

In issue 26, we spotlight on LVMH shortlisted, zero-waste designer Róisín Pierce who creates effervescent clothes from tulle, organza and satin, and uses texture to reflect on the troubled history of women in Ireland. A series on radical gaming champions the women bringing an unconventional approach to the immersion and interaction in video games. And one of the UK’s most talented songwriters, Porridge Radio’s Dana Margolin, explores the sound of feeling. Plus the original vibe shifter Michéle Lamy curates and stars in a dynamic series of portraits that harness the energy of life, joy and power – shot by Danielle Levitt.

In fashion, photographer Andy Jackson brings a heap of nostalgia to his series of year-book style portraits. Ina Lekiewicz captures big energy retro florals, while Misha Taylor takes us forward with the next generation of formalwear. Looking at the shape of things to come, Georgina Devy shoots a series of spectacular, architecturally-inspired monochrome looks, while in ‘The Great Outdoors’ photographer Lorenz Schmidl and stylist Beatriz Maues take us back to natural pleasures, revelling in the strangeness of our glorious world.

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TWIN PICKS: I’d like to get to know you

05.04.2022 | Art | BY:

I’d like to get to know you is a tentative exploration into a reimagined sibling relationship against the backdrop of British summertime. Shot at their mother’s house in rural Devon over the course of one summer, the uniquely singular relationship between sisters is explored and reframed. For the intimate series Francesca Allen turns the camera on her younger sister, Alida, and unravels the theme of family ties, re-tied. 

The sun-soaked images of poppies in bloom and swims in rivers, sports shorts and high-legged swimsuits, paints a vivid picture of a complex sisterly relationship and reveals, not only in how Francesca sees Alida, but how Alida sees herself. Intimacy and confrontation – a push and a pull, – are seen in Allen’s personal approach. Allen admits her and Alida’s relationship growing up was never particularly close. Portraiture, in this instance, is configured as a two-sided exchange opening up space for empathy and exploration.

The London-based photographer straddles the worlds of fashion and documentary photography, across themes of friendship, female bonds, and interchange between photographer and subject. Her first monograph Aya saw Allen spend a month in Japan photographing musician Aya Yanase. This second monograph is a testament to her developing practice and a celebration of sisterly bonds and the beauty of the British countryside.


I’d like to get to know you is available to buy from 23 March 2022. The exhibition is open by appointment at 1014 Gallery, Dalston, London

TWIN PICKS: We Are Made of Star Stuff

17.03.2022 | Art , Blog | BY:

WE ARE MADE OF STAR STUFF asks us to step into deep time. From 4th – 27th March, the HOXTON 253 art project space is unearthing the layered entanglements that exist between humans and their natural environment and inviting us to enter into a geological worldview.

“All of the rocky and metallic material we stand on, the iron in our blood, the calcium in our teeth, the carbon in our genes were produced billions of years ago in the interior of a red giant star. We are made of star-stuff” wrote Carl Sagan in 1973 in “The Cosmic Connection: An Extraterrestrial Perspective”. 

©Mirko Boffelli Photography. Images curtesy of HOXTON 253 art project space.

Rocks, minerals, ice and the crust of the ground we walk on collect evidence of slow ‘deep time’. No longer bound to the dominating constructs of capitalist time, deep time is a way of seeing the world across multiple timescales. Curated by Berta Zubrickaitė and featuring work from Lydia Brockless, Ilana Halperin, Geistė Marija Kinčinaitytė, Matthew Needham, Josephine Pryde, Georgia Somerville Watts and Maël Traïca the works draw attention to the ways in which human and non-human agencies are wrapped together. 

Textiles in collaboration with Syrian women in Istanbul to upcycled toe-trainers and toe heels. Immersive video essays to imaginary subterranean worlds. WE ARE MADE OF STAR STUFF rethinks our relation to temporality and points towards a plurally determined existence. 

©Mirko Boffelli Photography. Images curtesy of HOXTON 253 art project space.

HOXTON 253 art project space is a green and sustainability-conscious initiative. Highlighting artistic voices that challenge the current system, they create environments that question our communal and individual responsibilities to the world.

Twin Picks: How to Become a Fossil

11.03.2022 | Blog | BY:

A Goodbye Letter, A Love Call, A Wakeup Song was the title of the 2021 Biennale de l’Image en Mouvement, curated by the collective DIS and director Andrea Bellini. Envisaged as a pilot season of myriad different broadcasts that aimed to interrupt the established order of the day, the exhibition was staged in a labyrinth of set-like screening rooms, over the three floors of the Centre d’Art Contemporain in Geneva. This stellar list of artists alongside DIS included Mandy Harris Williams, Simon Fujiwara, Camille Henrot and TELFAR.

It’s for this Biennale that DIS created their first feature film, Everything But The World, which pertinently explores the potential of debunking and deconstructing information and narrative. This feature film is now the key piece in their current exhibition How to Become A Fossil. Billed as a non-linear natural history show, it included an alt-star studded cast including Leila Weinraub, Ryan Trecartin and Lizzie Fitch, Brontez Purnell and a soundtrack by Fatima Al Qadiri. The film veers from a skit on how to become a fossil to a sexed-up guide lead a tour of an Italian castle, inspired by Silvia Federici’s Caliban and the Witch.

Alongside DIS in the Biennale, Mandy Harris Williams beckoned “Glamourise the intellectual” in her work Couture Critiques. Installed in a classroom scene, complete with wooden table and chairs, the video takes the form of an extended Instagram-inspired photoshoot, interspersed with clips of Edward Said speeches and José Esteban Muñoz excerpts. With a direct yet astute humour, Harris Williams problematizes the ways that we receive information through layers of media and performativity, questioning how hierarchies are created to legitimize different forms of knowledge. Speaking directly to the camera, she pronounces that through love, care and eroticism we can embrace the full and subversive power of ideas collectively.

Identity and its many discontents were a recurring theme within the exhibition. In Santa Sangre, an eight song story of redemption and self acceptance, Sabrina Röthlisberger Belkacem challenges the notion of Swiss national perfectionism. Moving from one music video montage to the next, and interlaced with poetry by the artist, the work draws on mysticism and pop ritual. Hannah Black and Juliana Huxtable collaborated with And Or Forever to transform their 2019 performance Penumbra into an enthralling 3D visual. The work depicts a courtroom trial that pits humans against wildlife, interrogating the distinction between nature and culture and ultimately how social construct can limit our experience of reality.

Don’t miss a second chance to catch DIS.

How to Become a Fossil by Dis is on at Secession March 4 – June 12, 2022

DIS

Guest review: Anna Corrigan

TWIN PICKS : THE VULGARITY OF BEING THREE-DIMENSIONAL

07.03.2022 | Blog | BY:

Hot off the press, The Vulgarity of Being Three-Dimensional is an immersive new book of photography and sculpture by Danish photographic artist Tine Bek. Expect aesthetic experiments that reject hierarchy and structure. Shapes that run-over, flow, crumble and bulge. Sculpture where vulgarity strangely isn’t at all  vulgar.

Fruit, material, fabric and figures are brought together in a mix of still life, found forms and photographed sculptures. Elevating everyday objects as unassuming protagonists, Bekshe exposes and rejects material hierarchy. Who says marble is more impressive than foam? Why should a stone fountain take centre stage over a bathroom tap? Scratch beneath the surface and what separates these luxury materials from scraps?

In the text ‘Within the commonality lies the sparkling truth’ Isabella Rose Celeste Davey writes, “Vulgarity, from the Latin term vulgus, was the term for common people, an insinuation of the ordinary. We consider the vulgar to be crude, below our station, brash, crass, rough – terms that are charged with ill interest, with gall, with remorse. What if vulgar was not a bad thing at all, merely a removal of a mask. The slipperiness of expectation slinking away?

Bek’s primary mediums are video and photography, with multi-media collaboration at the heart of her work. She uses photography not just to record, but rather to produce artistic crossovers that open up new possibilities. 

The book has been awarded with the Hasselblad Foundation’s Photo Book Grant 2021 and is published by Disko Bay in Copenhagen, Denmark.

TWIN PICKS: TOGA A / W 2022

06.03.2022 | Blog , Fashion | BY:

As curtains close on fashion month, in an industrial warehouse the spotlight shone on TOGA’s A / W 2022 collection. In the video presentation, juxtaposition was front and centre. Hybridized garments, raw edges, and cut-out sections carry throughout Yasuko Furunta’s designs. 

“Hoops, bouncing, swinging,” is how Furutu described this season’s collection. The show notes reference Duke Ellington and Ella Fitzgerald’s “It Don’t Mean a Thing (If It Ain’t Got That Swing,)” with the collection featuring a medley of silks, faux fur, sequins, feathers and lamé fabrics. We are certainly keen to swish across the dancefloor in these designs, red sequins and faux goat hair flouncing with each step.

Models were on the move to the backing track of “Inkjet” by Crate Classics, remixed by 5 Easy Pieces. Fur trims and knee-high leather, spliced tailoring and drop skirts, the clothes showcase Furuto’s eclectic charm while remaining refined. A colourful knit peeps beneath the hem of a blazer, while the next look inverts the design. Elsewhere, kimono-inspired jackets in crushed floral and faux-fur fringed blazers pay tribute to TOGA’s free-spirited tailoring. These playful details carry the designs beyond gender binaries with an emphasis on wearability. 

This season’s accompanying film is directed by fashion photographer Johnny Dufort. Established in 1997 the Tokyo-based brand celebrates its 25th year with Furutu at the helm, continuing to offer deconstructed modern classics unique in every cut. Take a look at the collection in full here.

TWIN PICKS: PALM* PHOTO PRIZE 2022

04.03.2022 | Blog , Photography | BY:

Back yourself as the next Harley Weir or Jamie Hawkesworth? Well then, the annual Palm* Photo Prize is now open for submissions. For a chance to place your work in front of the likes of Alastair McKimm, Gem Fletcher, and Mahmoud ‘Mo’ Mfinanga have your submissions ready before 15 March 2022. 

A rare opportunity to feature as part of the next wave of photography talent, Palm* Photo Prize is an annual open call exhibition for early-career photographers. Featuring submissions from across the world, since 2018 the prize has supported, elevated and showcased the next generation of image-makers. With a strong focus on stand-alone imagery and no set themes, the prize is one of the best places to get your work in front of the right people. As long as you don’t already have an agent or gallery, then you’re good to go

One hundred entries with be selected by Palm* and will feature in the exhibition at 10 14 Gallery sponsored by Spectrum & INK. The photographer’s agency Canvas Represents will also present one recipient with a ‘Mentorship Award’. They will receive a three-meeting mentorship with a team of agents.   

The Judge’s Panel prizes, People’s Choice Award and Canvas Represents Mentorship Award will be announced online in June 2022. Get your entries in here.

TWIN LOVES: GENTLE MONSTER x COPERNI

18.02.2022 | Fashion | BY:

Big, bold and future-facing, Gentle Monster has shaken up the eyewear game. Once upon a time, Ray-Bans or Oakley performance frames were the main offerings in the every-person eyewear department. Fast-forward to today and Gentle Monster has joined forces with Coperni to create a range of avante-garde sunglasses. Chasing the future, the 5G-inspired collection consists of 2 models: the 5G and the 5G BOLD. Nineties references to RoboCop and Back to the Future are paired with new ideas around connection and speed. 

Shot by Parisian film director Alexandre Silberstein, the campaign video takes us into The Matrix. Featuring singer Le Diouck and models Louise Roberts and Jeanne Zheng, it transports us into the brand’s technological universe. The collaboration is accompanied by an Augmented Reality Instagram filter, offering users the chance to virtually try-on the 5G Bold sunglasses. 

Already approved by the likes of Zendaya, the 5G BOLD goggle-shape features voluminous curves, an acetate frame and an eye-catching logo. For the minimalists, the 5G has a cat-eye silhouette that is slightly less bold but no less impactful. 

Committed to the digital-friendly lifestyle, the shades come with a virtual set-up box that enables 5G communication with the 5G eyewear. The future of eyewear has landed, Doc and Marty would be into it.

The collaboration collection is available now worldwide, sold at Gentle Monster and Coperni’s on/offline stores, and global select shops. 

@gentlemonster

@coperni

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Religion, rebellion and animal instincts: Twin meets BAD WITH PHONES

16.02.2022 | Culture , Music | BY:

BAD WITH PHONES, is back with his newest alt-hip-hop and psychedelic-infused track “Living & Surfing”. Born and raised in South-East London BWP –  a.k.a Manny – spent his childhood watching his father, a pentecostal-pastor, preach and his siblings play in the church band. After picking up the bass guitar, it wasn’t long before he began disrupting the sermons with his secular riffs. A photographer, self-confessed space nerd and ex-hacker (known to hack his school network and flog bootlegs) the Togolesian musician can’t be pigeon-holed -and neither can his music. Twin caught up with BWP to discuss dissidence, tech addiction and music as the sonic saviour.

Tell us about your new single ‘Living & Surfing’, what was your inspiration behind it?

The inspiration comes from being homeless…I was sleeping on benches and couch surfing with friends or with girlfriends in Berlin, just embracing that lifestyle while I was out there. I let go of clinging to ideas or expectations of how I should be. I didn’t have any money or anything but I had energy and ideas and in the end, that’s worth more than anything else. I made the track with Torn Palk and I was sleeping in his corridor. I remember him waking up every morning and stepping over my head to go and pee. The track was inspired by the notion of meeting people with egos the size of watermelons that made them only think within the ideas they were told to. That bugged me, so she got a song. 

Your approach to music is quite genre-agnostic. How did you develop your sound? 

Mmmm, I don’t really believe in rules. Rules are boring and I’m a bad conformist. I like to flow naturally. Every time I make music it’s like starting from scratch for me. 

When did you first discover your passion for music?

When I was young, about nine. There was lots of music being played in my house. My dad had a church too so there were always sounds. Clapping, dancing and drums ruled on Sunday and Thursday nights. I was SpongeBob taking it all in, deciding for myself what it all meant to me. I tried a bunch of instruments when I was a kid including the recorder, the keyboard and the guitar, but the bass really stuck. My taste for music developed from there. It hits the lower chakras but more than anything it gets your animal instincts out.

Where did your pseudonym come from? Are you truly bad with phones?

I came up with the name after not having a phone for a while and people actually saying “Manny what’s going on? I can’t get a hold of you, you’re so bad with phones.” Phones are just big distractions from accomplishing the things in my mind. On the flip side, maybe my name shouldn’t actually be ‘Bad With Phones’ as it’s more ‘addicted to phones’ these days. I’ve sort of gone off-brand.

Catch BAD WITH PHONES at Jamz Supernovas’ Ones to Watch at Shoreditch House (16th February).

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TWIN LOVES: ROBERT GREY NOTES FROM A FRIEND

11.02.2022 | Blog | BY:

Robert Grey is the friend we all need right now. As they explain, “with the world as it is, a note from a friend in the right moment can mean the difference between disaster and delight.” The trauma-informed therapist and reiki master has become well known with those in the know as a compassionate, intersectional and conscious practitioner. Their journey as a trans non-binary healer lit the way for their path of self-love and self-acceptance. Now they are sharing these tools in an innovative audio subscription that offers spiritual guidance and wellbeing practices for daily life. Differing from mindfulness apps and larger scale one-size-fits-all enterprises, Robert’s notes are warm and personal. They offer moments of reflection, meditation and contemplation to help navigate the day at hand. 

Be Where You Are: Notes From A Friend are five minute voice notes recorded during robert’s self practice each day and sent on that morning, so that the practice can be shared. These intimate insights stem from Robert’s own experience and often include explorations in astrology, tarot, ritual, meditation, devotion and self-healing. This sense of a wider community listening in adds to the appeal for subscribers and for Robert also, “I offer ongoing support for a community that in turn supports me. I believe in a healer for every village, so this subscription has essentially become my village.” To have the velvet voice of a caring friend send healing vibrations through your phone speaker we think sounds dreamy, and is a good way of remembering to take moments in the day for self care. 

Robert’s note for today:

There are many kinds of love, and in my experience they each request the same simple devotion: that we become open to it”.

Available now for £9.99 per month at www.robert-grey.com

@robert___grey

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TWIN PICKS : Alex Prager

08.02.2022 | Art | BY:

Theatrical staging, high-drama and luxurious technicolour – photographer and filmmaker Alex Prager’s large-scale photographs feature ensemble casts that teeter between reality and artifice. 

Afternoon, 2021, courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London

In this intimate series classic American archetypes are presented in the cinematic colour palette of a Hollywood Western. A cowboy, a cherub, an air stewardess, all frozen, suspended mid-air. Artefacts of modern American life seem to float  – or fall – alongside them.

Dawn, 2021, courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London

Part One: The Mountain at London’s Lehmann Maupin gallery continues her exploration of the hyperreal. The series was created as a response to the last two years and the effects of the pandemic. Prager’s meticulously constructed characters are paired with details from the character’s backstories – casino chips, prozac and a pair of high heels capture our human idiosyncrasies. 

Twilight, 2021, courtesy Alex Prager Studio and Lehmann Maupin, New York, Hong Kong, Seoul, and London

Prager plays on the tradition of classical portraiture as a way to encourage people to really look at one another again. After such a long period of isolation and polarisation, she works to flatten people out and then hone in on our emotional states. These questions are infused into each portrait, creating a spiritual death and consequently – rebirth. Shot in her hometown of Los Angeles, The Mountain draws on the themes of revelation, pilgrimage, achievement, and adversity. 


Alex Prager’s Part One: The Mountain is at London’s Lehmann Maupin gallery until March 5 2022.

TWIN LOVES : CHARLES&KEITH x SHUSHU / TONG

29.01.2022 | Blog | BY:

Luxury footwear and accessories brand CHARLES & KEITH and the designers behind SHUSHU / TONG have unveiled their first collaborative capsule collection this spring season. And everything’s coming up roses.

The capsule features two bags and two shoe designs, centred around the motif of the rose. Beautiful and fragile, dangerous and charming, the theme evokes love and desire and we are certainly smitten with the collection’s retro romantic charm. 

“The rose has become a significant symbol in literature and art,” explains SHUSHU/TONG, “Traditionally, roses only bloomed once a year, which means it was destined to live for a short period of time. A fragile, withering rose exudes fleeting beauty. Sharp thorns line its soft, delicate branches; this danger is a metaphor for the price we sometimes need to pay for love.”

With the collection’s red and black colour palette, the rose motif reflects SHUSHU / TONG’s unabashed femininity merged with the understated elegance of CHARLES & KEITH’s designs. Mary Janes with a twist and vintage-inspired handbags in patent leather and satin fabrics, the campaign syncs the accessories brand’s signature shapes with the duo’s whimsical charm. 

Directed by fashion photographer Zeng Wu Zhang and styled by Liu Xiao, the creative chemistry between the two brands is clear to see. The collection is available to purchase in selected CHARLES & KEITH boutiques and on www.charleskeith.com.

The Sky isn’t the Limit: Artist Lakwena Maciver’s ‘Jump Paintings’ are an expression of Black Joy

14.01.2022 | Blog | BY:

For some, basketball is just a sport. And for those who subscribe to the callous “shut up and dribble” mindset, may argue that it can be nothing more than just that. But for others, the act of a crossover and a lay-up into a slam-dunk is more than an act of athleticism, but something that supersedes sport to the point of being magical.

Enter Lakwena Maciver’s newest series of artwork, presented by Vigo Gallery: ‘Jump Paintings’. This series immediately evokes a sense of nostalgia, drawing a parallel to her previous work “I’ll Bring You Flowers”, created in honour of Senator Flowers’ speech against the ‘Stand Your Ground’ law in 2019, prior the resurgence of the Black Lives Matter Movement in June 2020.

LAKWENA MACIVER
‘Larry, 2021’
Acrylic and polyurethane on plywood
206 x 110 cm
81 1/8 x 43 1/4 inches

The lustrous colours laminated onto the canvas mirror basketball courts, the abstract illustrations melded with spiritual affirmations, a key motif explored in her post works. The nod to basketball legends is in the finer details. Each painting directly references individual players, each canvas fit to their exact height.

“I like the notion of the basketball court as a platform or a stage where the players become almost like superheroes… The heights that they soar to… it’s like they are flying, somehow able to rise above the limitations of this world.” – Lakwena Maciver, Artist.

The political framework Lakwena works from isn’t just a springboard, it’s imbedded into the very fabric of the work. As the sport is beloved globally, many African Americans have found solace in the craft, growing to ultimately dominate the scene over the years. Her work acknowledges the importance of the background, an arguably acts as an ode to its history. In the words of Lakwena she views the series “as an opportunity to celebrate black power, joy, and self-expression”.

The ‘Jump Paintings’ will be available for viewing at Vigo Gallery from January 18th – February 28th 2022 and is split into two parts.

Find out more about the exhibition on vigogallery.com.  

Twin Issue XXV

13.11.2021 | Blog , Twin Book | BY:

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Days are darker and the nights are booming. Twin’s latest issue let’s you in on a secret: the party is right here.

Stories by Clare Shilland, Damien Krisl, Anya Holdstock, Jacob McFadden, and Zoe Taylor bring sparkle, creativity, chaos and play. It’s an extravaganza of colour and volume. Experimentation is irresistible. Control yourself, we dare you. In fashion Ward & Kweskin chronicle chill days by the sea, soaking up sun and surf. In ‘The Gaze’ Valerio Spada and Michelle Cameron capture a sense of languishing and longing – the art of hanging out. While Iris Humm and Anna Schiffel present massive energy in ‘Print Power’. After all, why be minimal when you could be major? 

It’s a time for re-imagining the ordinary and taking new perspectives on what seems familiar. Kate Neave talks to artist Marina Faust about documenting life behind the scenes at Maison Margiela for the last 20 years, and her practice of reworking iconic pieces and challenging the function of everyday objects. In ‘Balade’, curator Carina Bukuts invites us to look twice at the neighbourhood of Charlottenburg, and explains how a new exhibition explores the history and present of the neighbourhood, as well as its possible futures. And Emily Chancey spotlights on The Community, a collective breathing new life into Paris. 

Rethinking what we know got us thinking about heritage too. In an essay about her grandmother, Lara Johnson-Wheeler writes about memory nostalgia and the beautiful confusion of Anglo Indian dress codes, and how clothes connect us to our past. Daphne Milner speaks to the next generation of London-based talent, Feben, Marie Lueder and Wesley Harriott about reimagining the past for the future – photographed by Tami Aftab and Harry Ecroyd.Thinking about our roots in nature, Dr Ihnji Jon Lecturer in International Urban Politics talks about her book ‘Cities in the Anthropocene’ and the tensions and opportunities of environmental activism in cities.  And photographer Paolo Zerbini explores similar ideas in a stunning visual series that goes deep into our everyday connections with the natural world. Plus, Lucy Bourton chats with Faye Webster about her new album.

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Rhythms From The Metroplex: A Poetic Snapshot into a Pre-lockdown world

27.10.2021 | Art , Blog , Photography | BY:

A tale of two cities: New York and London, circa 2017 to 2020 – this is the setting for Jermaine Francis’ Rhythms From The Metroplex. The photography book can be read as an anthology that takes the viewer on a journey through a pre-pandemic world, a world that is innocent and yet to be consumed by Covid; it acts as a prequel to Something That Seems So Familiar Becomes Distant (Francis, 2020).

Rhythms From The Metroplex, photographed by Jermaine Francis, 2017-2020

Francis’ work illuminates the different cultural parallels between New York and London – the ways people choose to communicate and fill the space (or lack thereof) and the somewhat theatrical essence between the two major cities.

Rhythms From The Metroplex, photographed by Jermaine Francis, 2017-2020

Each image is taken from a selection of frames, all layered together to create the narrative: some faces blurred and others in direct focus. The pictures play with a sense of closeness and distance, speaking to how people used to interact and exchange with one another.

‘In many ways, this book is about time and its intrinsic relationship to photography, but it is also about the poetic mystery of time. Time courses through us, like a heat wave in a vortex. It is a warm kind of whiplash, as life flashes before our eyes.’ – Oliver Kupper

Rhythms From The Metroplex, photographed by Jermaine Francis, 2017-2020

Rhythms from the Metroplex is a 106-page visual experience that encapsulates a time before now – one that shows the unbridled hustle and bustle of everyday life.  

The book was released on September 13th 2021 and be purchased on Francis’ website jermainfrancis.co.uk and clairederouenbooks.com.

Sorry If I Look Interested, I’m Not: A Whistle Stop Tour Around Scotland With My father & His Jack Russel, Jumble

28.09.2021 | Culture , Photography | BY:

This summer, I did a five day road trip around Scotland, visiting the Isle of Mull, Iona, Staffa and the surrounding countryside of Edinburgh with my father, Peter, following the death of his brother, Jamie. I had felt compelled, after this sudden and tragic loss, to connect with my father after many years of near-estrangement. Before our trip, the longest time we had spent alone together was never usually more than a single day.

Peter is eccentric, formidable – a man who marches to the beat of his own drum and no one else’s. The only one who’s kept up is Jumble, his closest companion, a 14 year old Jack Russell.

The trip was a chance for me to try to understand, and appreciate, my father’s unique, challenging and complex character. I wanted to keep a record of it, to capture our attempt at reconnection, to document the memories we made along the way.

The trip was emotional, beautiful and exhausting. My camera became a saviour, through it I could observe him – he was my muse. Though his reaction to being photographed was often in the form of a scowl, the interaction it created became a form of communication and connection between us. This was new ground for us both.

Peter Van, Edinburgh, (Olympus Mju 35mm Film) photographed by Lara Monro

Who is my father? Do I understand him? How well do any of us know our parents as entities beyond the role of mother or father? Does understanding his life better vindicate him of the mistakes he made as my parent?

Isle of Iona, (Olympus Mju 35mm Film) photographed by Lara Monro

I hope that these images have captured some of what I learnt: that Scotland is beautiful, that my father is strange and brilliant, and that my time spent with him has helped me to make sense of, and heal from, a complex family past.

Header image credits: Peter on Staffa Island, (Olympus Mju 35mm Film), photographed by Lara Monro

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