A short but sweet show brings together photography from Twin Magazine’s ten-year-old archive. Here, one of its curators, Holly Hay, sheds some light on some of the highlights
For a decade, biannual publication Twin Magazine – which falls between being a book and magazine, with its hardbacked encasing and contemporary fashion photography and features – has been an enlivening presence in the world of fashion publishing. In celebration of its tenth birthday, its founder Becky Smith presents Twin X, an exhibition at the Store Studios, 180 the Strand, that showcases exciting photography from the magazine’s archive, as well as some newly commissioned images and previously unseen outtakes.
“Twin has worked with the photographers who have marked and shifted the visual landscape for fashion over the last 10 years,” says Holly Hay, photographic director at wallpaper* and one of the exhibition’s four curators, alongside Smith, art editor Francesca Gavin, and curator and gallerist Antonia Marsh. “I have always so admired Becky’s commitment to giving photographers a place to show their most uncompromising work,” Hay continues.
In what was a mammoth undertaking – “Becky is the only person on the planet who can make a game from the most daunting of tasks,” enthuses Hay – the curators came together with “hundreds of print outs” from Twin Magazine’s archives that could fall into the four decided sections of the exhibition: Photographers, Models, People and the Unseen. “Summarising such a wealth of work was not a simple task but I do think the show perfectly represents the talent and personality of the magazine and its collaborators,” says Hay.
Such talents featured in Twin X include photographers like Cass Bird, Joyce Ng and Senta Simond and subjects including Louise Bourgeois, Molly Goddard, Kate Tempest and Chloë Sevigny. The exhibition places focus on the people that have populated Twin Magazine’s pages, whether in fashion stories or portraits, and who have propelled its championing of creativity and independence.
For Hay, who had worked on a portfolio for Twin Magazine’s 18th issue of photographers “responding to the idea of female camaraderie” – such is the publication’s focus on feminism in its pages – one favourite shot in the exhibition is by Senta Simond. “It stands out firstly as it’s really the only picture in the Photographers section with the subject not making eye contact with the photographer. Senta’s pictures are a refined, sensitive, intimate view of femininity,” Hay describes. “It calls to mind classic approaches to portraiture and fashion pictures but feel like they perfectly exhibit the kind of contemporary imagery we crave.” Which is exactly what could be said for the output of Twin Magazine.
Twin X is at The Store Studios, 180 the Strand, until February 3, 2019.