Deakin University

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posted on 2013-01-01, 00:00 authored by M Capp, Daniel Armstrong
Melinda Capp and her sister Meredith are identical twin. The Sisters installation presented at the Castlemaine state festival is an exploration of the experience and memories of having grown up as a twin and the complexity for both the self as single and self as other/double which underpins and confronts both the physical and psychological sense being a twin. Nature / Nurture: The work is explored as a dichotomy of Nature / Nurture by referencing the domestic context of childhood (which can be interpreted as an exposition of the influence of nurture) and reference to the physical, genetic aspect of being a twin (a reference to Nature). The Installation was located in a bedroom of a 1960’s brick house, now empty, and invites the viewer to enter into a world which pulls between these two forces of nature/nurture, which shape the sense of identity and realization of self for each twin. The bond between twins emerges at the cellular level and continues for the rest of their lives. Despite all emergence of individuality and bloodline thread binds them together forever no matter the distance between them and changes through time In dark wooden wardrobe two dresses, made from fine white tissues paper, hang quietly on each side of the robe with backlighting which floods the room with an ethereal luminance. Placed in the center of a large bare wall, a small image of Melinda and Meredith as young children (a photo transfer also on the ephemeral tissue paper) hangs in isolation. This placement and the surrounding space unites these two young twins together, bound in symmetry like a mirror image in the vast open space of the empty wall, a symbol of the potential for growth and individual identity in a world which surrounds them. On the opposite wall a series of object and artifacts are pressed between sheets of acrylic and backlit as if they were some sorts of scientific samples for detailed inspection. Feathers/hair, handmade paper with embroided (reference to the traditionally feminine arts) text and the words Blood Ties traced out. Each object is placed for analysis and hovers in space at the viewers approximate eye level like a series of clues for the revelation of some deeper insight. Hidden speakers were embedded within the walls of the room and played looped recordings at low level inviting the viewer to listen as a voyeur. A series of whispered schoolyard chants by Melinda and Meredith (identical wording were individually recorded by each sister and then superimposed) and a collage of spoken word, memories and anecdotes from the period of their childhood. Most notably recollections of the Apollo Moon landing. A symbol of the ability of science to transcend and reveal that which lies beyond and within, while at the same time counterpointed by the poetics of childhood songs emerging in unison as two twins reveal their innate unification.



Castlemaine State Festival - Open Studios and Exhibitions

Place of publication

Castlemaine, Victoria

Creation date


Material type

art original



Publication classification

J2 Minor original creative work

Copyright notice

2013, The Creators


Installation Art work - photography, sound scape, back lighting, acrylic sheet, sculptural forms, various electrical components for lighting and sound (Mp3 player, speakers) various objects including feathers, lace & textiles, wall cavities for concealed speakers,

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