artist | trailblazer

Posts tagged ‘twins’


I had quite an odd and amusing experience this morning when a guy from the Department of Transport knocked on the door and asked to speak to me!

He wanted to see my driving license and I thought for a moment he was going to confiscate it, even though I couldn’t think what I might have done to deserve that.

He then asked me to confirm that the license was mine and my name was indeed Lorraine Corker. I was quite alarmed by this situation, but when he asked if I had a twin I began to laugh. It was such a relief as I realised this had to be some kind of identity mix up. Apparently when I renewed my license, their new face identification system alerted them that I already had a license, but under a different name. What a relief. I told them that would be my twin sister Lorretta Gibbs.

I thought it was all over, but no. I then had to prove I was who I said I was by producing my birth certificate. That was clearly still not enough! Finally I took him into my studio where there were photos on the wall from one of our twinging photo sessions. He solemnly scrutinized each photo in turn, carefully studying them until he was satisfied.

He asked if he could take a photograph for his records. I find it amusing that the first photo below in now on file at The Department of Transport, although personally, I think it would have been more interesting if he had taken the second. haha

photographs from our?’Twinging’ studio sessions

? artwork by Lorraine Corker & Lorretta Gibbs : all rights reserved
photographs by Rob Corker

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A collaborative project between Lorraine Corker and Lorretta Gibbs

Infancy – detail from drawing


From time to time Lorretta and I have discussed the possibility of creating an art project based on our twin perspective. Although we have collaborated in performances in the past, none of them were specifically based on being a twin. Nevertheless, they did use our likenesses and more importantly our differences to play with peoples preconceived ideas and visual perception. However, none of them actually revealed how we perceived the world and how the world perceived us as twins.

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?transPose – painting performance at Kurb Gallery

It is only now that we feel ready to share the intimacy of our private world. We have already completed two studio sessions in which we tested some of our ideas and began to establish our work practice. We are very excited about what we have produced so far. We believe this project has the potential not only to become an informative and fascinating journey but also a visual feast.

From our first studio session.


Just for the record – yes, we are identical twins. In other words; we were both created from one egg, fertilized by one sperm, which at some point in its development split into two unique beings. This makes us genetically identical. However, because of the way we split we are also mirror twins which means, unlike other identical twins we are mirror opposites. In other words, when we look at each other it is like seeing a reflection of ourselves. And like all mirror twins one of us is left-handed and the other right.

From our second studio session.


We not only shared the same genetics, but in our formative years we also shared the same environment, the same relationships and the same influences.? We even shared the same name – Twinnie. Unlike modern day twins we were never separated or allowed to make individual decisions. Although we often had different ideas, our choices were more often than not limited by adults interceding to ensure that we both did the same thing. This was usually resolved by them referring to the oldest. We don’t think for one moment that this was malicious but borne on a misconceived idea that our connection was inseparable and therefore we needed to remain physically connected. But in fact our connection (like many twins), went beyond the physical. And we would have been able to withstand separation as we were later to discover when we decided to go our separate ways.

Lorraine and Lorretta about seven years old.


Privately we enjoyed the intimacy of our relationship but we found it increasingly difficult to cope with public attention. People were fascinated by our likeness and we were always being asked to ‘perform’ our twinness for them. This continued despite all efforts to resist it. Very few people acknowledged us as individuals, and those that did usually accomplished it by rejecting one of us. Then one day something happened that changed our lives forever…


Drawn from memory

We saw two old ladies who we immediately recognised as mirror twins too. They were walking towards us in slow measured steps. Step by step in sync with each other. Every foot fall, every arm swing in mirrored unison. Each holding an identical bag with one hand and twin hand in the other. They were both wearing the same hat, the same coat and the same shoes. We watched in horror as they approached us. They had grown old trapped forever in their identical twin world. We knew then, that whatever it took we had to escape the same fate. From that moment on we refused to wear the same clothes at the same time. We started wearing our hair differently and making decisions that suited our individual needs. And for fifty years we have managed to maintain that without denying our own special bond. We have just kept it private, until now.


As I said at the beginning we believe this project has the potential not only to become an informative and fascinating journey but also a visual feast. We will be exploring visual means in which to give you some insights into our world. It will be thought-provoking, it will be fascinating. It will be a journey of discovery for us and for you.


NB: We see many possibilities for this project but at the present time we do not have any outcomes in mind. Other than to begin this journey together with a sense of adventure. It might be, as this project progresses that any one of us might feel we cannot continue. We are committed not to put pressure on each other to continue if anyone changes their mind and respect each others feelings in this matter.

? artwork by Lorraine Corker & Lorretta Gibbs : all rights reserved
photographs by Lorraine Corker, Helen Butcher & Jerome’s Ltd UK

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A collaborative project between Lorraine Corker and Lorretta Gibbs

from studio session


This project is a visual journey into the twin-world my sister and I share.? It allows a? metaphorical glimpse into our private world.? While drawing? upon the experiences of our childhood twindom – it is from the perspective of our sixty year old selves.? Not only does it deal with the bonds we share, but also many of the misconceptions singletons have of what it is to be a twin.

The project is ongoing, but at the present time we are not sure where it is going.? We’re just travelling along to see where the journey takes us.

? artworks by Lorraine Corker and Lorretta Gibbs : all rights reserved
photographs by Lorraine Corker

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