Kitty what made you curate this show? What is it about siblings you are interested in?
KITTY HOWARD: I think it all stems from having a sister who makes art. For me she was always the more talent sibling who I had to live up to. I think that’s why I started doing photography instead of painting, just to be different from her. I was interested to see if other siblings who make art had the same responses and experience I had and if that affected the way they make art.
I think asking them to work collaboratively with each other came from looking at the work of the Kingston sisters. I find the way they work harmoniously together so vastly different from my experiences as a creative sibling-ship, this making me want to see how other artists would approach working collaboratively with their siblings.
If know some of you have worked together in the past, as Kitty mentions in her essay, can you tell us about these projects? How Collaborative were they? How did they come about?
ALANA AND ANNABELLE: We've worked collaboratively on numerous art and design projects under the name 'Paradise Structures' since 2013. As sisters we grew up making things like house newsletters and fake radio stations together so it seems inevitable that we would continue to collaborate on creative projects. Our initial collaboration with photographic prints on dresses, that lead to PS, just came about by accident because we thought it would be funny to make clothes to wear to Annabelle's grad show that matched her work.
LUCINDA AND KIRILLY: Kirilly and I work in a way that could be described as curator and artist. We both have our own interest; Kirilly is a practicing architect but also a keen photographer. My interests have changed over the years, from painting, photography, video, craft and now ceramics. Throughout it all however, Kirilly and I frequently talk about our practices and share ideas and ways of working. We have curated shows together and I help Kirilly and her partner with extending their art collection.
Can you all tell us a bit about the work you made for this show?
ALANA AND ANNABELLE: Our brother's mailbox is a microwave. One time we sent him a birthday card but forgot his street name and number so we just put "The Microwave" and it arrived. We thought it would be funny to make work about this microwave mailbox for a show at mailbox. We thought we were joking when we said this to each other, but then we decided to do this anyway. So our work has ended up being an interpretation of a fake mailbox inside a disused mailbox.
LUCINDA AND KIRILLY:The work we made for the show fits perfectly with our curator and artist relationship. I made the work and through discussions with Kirilly we made decisions about the work. The works itself are three embroidered video stills from an old VHS of us as siblings playing in our first family home.
Obviously working with someone you are related to means you have a special kind of understanding of each other having grown up in the same environment- I can see this as having many advantages but also that maybe that sense of closeness can also mean that there is some rivalry or perhaps argue more, because well I’d be more likely to fight with my sisters than an unrelated collaborator! How did you/do you negotiate working together?
ALANA AND ANNABELLE: We definitely feel like we can be more honest with each other. It's pretty easy though because we share a lot of the same opinions so there's not a lot to disagree on. A lot of the time we read each other's minds.
LUCINDA AND KIRILLY: We fight about a lot of things but never about our practices, we respect each others decisions making when it comes to art making. We discuss aesthetics and concepts but we never undermine each others thought process, as that’s what is interesting about art, perspectives.
Any favourite sibling artists/groups that inspire you?
ALANA AND ANNABELLE: Sister2Sister were an inspiration to us when we were kids which inspired us to make our own short lived band called "the sunset sisters", we played one hit show in a tree to our pet chickens at sunset.
LUCINDA AND KIRILLY: PARADISE STRUCTURES
Kitty I know you have curated/programmed the Seventh Workers Window- a space in many ways similar to mailbox in that it’s a small unconventional space with a kind of display case viewing experience-the work being behind glass.
Is this something you seek out in your curating or just coincidence? Did your experience help you at all working with this space?
KITTY HOWARD: ha, I wish I could say I seek out these unconventional spaces, but yes it was just by coincidence. The first show I ever curated was at Rae and Bennett in 2012, which was definitely much easier to work with then either the Workers Window or Mailbox. The Workers Window and Mailbox are so vastly different in things you have to consider when curating. The WW has such a extensive viewing space that needs to be considered (almost a 360 view), where as mailbox you have such a small viewing space, each an advantage and a disadvantage that just needs to be figured out. I think though there is something very interesting about these small peculiar spaces, it’s a lot harder to hide bad art within them. You are so aware of the work, there’s no perceived quality added to them by the white walls of a gallery. For this particular group of artists there was a big mix of scale they normally worked with, it’s always interesting, and slightly nerve wracking, to see what people will do when giving such strict constraints to work within.
Any upcoming projects (as siblings or individually) that you’d like to share?
ALANA AND ANNABELLE: We're working on some new projects at the moment, but it's all top secret for now. 🔎 👀
LUCINDA AND KIRILLY: Lucinda will be part of the ACCA startups program from the 27nd of October to the 1st of November.
You can see more of Annabelle's work here:
You can see more of Alana's work here:
You can see more of Annabelle and Alana's collaborative work here:
You can see more of Kitty's work here:
You can see more of Lucinda's work here: