Author: Alicia Muir

The Cameron Twins: The Interview

We are so excited to welcome the collaborative artistic duo the Cameron Twins to Art Republic. The Cameron Twins - Phebe and Abigail - create vividly coloured montages with a naïve aesthetic that combines old paintings, photographs, notes, and drawings. We spoke with the artists about their exploration of childhood imagination and dreams, their process and their love of screen printing. 

 

When did you both realise you wanted to be artists? How was your time at art school?

If you consider that we now we use a lot of our own memories and elements; such as drawings, from our childhood as far back as nursery school in our work… then you could probably say it was always on the cards!

We were surprised to find that art school is a place where your artistic dreams go to die… so it's important to ignore 99% of the advice they give you, and just do your own thing! However, we had a fabulous Print-making tutor who was very inspiring and knowledgeable.

 

How long have you been working together? 

It could be said that our first collaborative show was stuck onto our fridge door, or chalking the pavements outside the house! So, we suppose we have always worked together and our shared past and experiences are reflected in our work.

We started presenting ourselves as an official collaborative artist duo just before graduating art school together in 2021. 

 The Cameron Twins: The Interview | Image
Be Mine by the Cameron Twins
The Cameron Twins: The Interview | Image

 

What are the benefits of working collaboratively rather than individually?

There are many benefits to working together collaboratively as artists, the main one being that the collaborative relationship provides an environment of mutual support and both positive and negative feedback. We can offer constructive criticism, share insights, and inspire one another throughout the process and our unique experience growing up together as twins, and sisters means there is no filter to our ‘constructive criticism’… which can make the process complicated and strenuous, but ultimately enriches our joint artistic approach. 

The support system that comes naturally with collaboration helps us to foster our personal and artistic growth, allows us to refine our craft, develop a deeper understanding and push the boundaries of our artistic practice and collaborative identity. 

Can you talk us through your process?

Our creative process involves a combination of playful experimentation and collaboration and a deep exploration of a shared artistic vision - which runs throughout our entire process. 

The early stages can be quite complicated as it can be frustrating trying to organise, express and make sense of each other's thoughts and ideas (unfortunately although we are twins, we can’t read each other’s minds!).

Collection is also a large part of the playful process for us and it allows us to discover and share imagery and materials. This process can be quite lengthy and consists of gathering together all sorts of things from old family photos, childhood drawings, old toys, familiar pop-culture figures, favourite tv characters, also vintage signage, dated packaging and vintage advertisements, old nicknacks… and any general images and photographs of things that seem interesting or inspiring to us in our day-to-day lives. 

Although we work with a range of techniques and different processes, the hard physical act of creating our work is also shared equally between us, across every medium we use. For example, a lot of our work incorporates the screen printing process and we often use very large screens and we have to handle the heavy awkward equipment quickly between us, so making our screens and pulling the ink together in unison allows us to create our artwork.

 The Cameron Twins: The Interview | Image
BUMP! by the Cameron Twins
The Cameron Twins: The Interview | Image

What do you enjoy about screen printing?

Screen printing is a very hands-on process allowing us to directly engage with both our artwork and each other in a playful way. Every step of the process involves active participation; from preparing our screens and mixing ink colours, to finally pulling the screen together… and in order for it to work it is vital for us to be totally in sync with each other as partners! 

This physical effort really helps keep our collaborative relationship balanced and equal, and the tactile experience of screen printing is enjoyable as it offers a direct connection between ourselves and the final result.

Screen printing is also a very versatile medium and we really like to take advantage of this as we have the potential to work with a wide range of different materials and textures which can open up a huge range of possibilities for us to explore! 

Screen printing allows us to choose to lay down thick layers of vibrant colour, bold black line and fluorescent pigment which have become staples of our work and the colour and vibrancy are very important elements to us, used within our imagery to create a striking visual impact.

We love the childhood pop culture references that you incorporate into your pieces, do you have any particular favourites?

Our personal favourites at the moment are Barbie, Furby, Rupert Bear and definitely the retro Trolls!  Although, using nostalgic objects as references means we are always suddenly changing our favourites as we come across a long-forgotten toy or image. We are also often inspired by the personal memory or conversations of viewers who look into the artwork and start talking to us about their own very particular memories and favourites 

 The Cameron Twins: The Interview | Image
Lucky Rabbit's Foot by the Cameron Twins
The Cameron Twins: The Interview | Image

What do you want viewers to take away from your artworks?

We want our artwork to invite the viewers to embark on their own personal journey of interpretation and reflection through the lens of nostalgia and childhood imagination. To experience finding the often hidden sinister elements within the attractive appealing vibrant colours.

We use familiar imagery and pop-culture references and characters from across different generations. This helps us to provide a space for introspection for every individual viewer and we hope this adds to the connectivity of our art across all ages and social confines whilst still remaining personal and anecdotal to us.  

 

What do you enjoy about working three-dimensionally?

Working Three-Dimensionally tends to be a very liberating and playful process for us. It almost returns the art pieces to a re-imagined version of their original toy forms and still incorporates their initial playful intentions as toys: to be colourful, tactile, stimulating and playful to the viewer. 

 

What inspires you?

Our shared childhood recollections started as the main inspiration for our work. We collect old advertising imagery, toys, pictures and photos to draw inspiration from spending time rooting around in markets and vintage shops.

We have created a Tarot card series, reflecting the intricate detail and structure of traditional tarot card decks… adding our own nostalgic, pop-culture twist! 

We also find that because our work is nostalgic and memory-provoking, an accidental bi-product of this is that the work raises conversations with the viewers. People are constantly sharing with us their own personal memories, favourite elements and recollections brought on by the artwork, and as a result we gain access to other people's stories and nostalgia too which can be a rich source of inspiration.

 

Does social media play an important role in promoting your art?

We have found that social media has played a vital role in promoting and exposing our artwork to a wider audience. It can be exhausting and time-consuming to keep on top of but it is definitely worth investing the effort in. 

Sharing videos and content from behind the scenes, especially because we screen print all our own work, has become very important to us and allows viewers to engage with the different stages of the work process.

People seem to really enjoy having this insight into how things work, and see the amount of effort that goes into each artwork. 

 The Cameron Twins: The Interview | Image
Miss You by the Cameron Twins

The Cameron Twins: The Interview | Image

What can we expect from you in the future?

We will be working on some more hand-finished 1/1 artworks within very small varied editions. 

We are also looking at developing some of our small hand-cast, sculptural art objects into limited editions sets as well as creating some large-scale sculptural pieces .

Later this year, we will be working towards our two Solo Shows, so we’ve got a lot of new work in the pipeline for those!

 

What is your favourite artwork, and why?

If we had to choose a current favourite (which is really hard for us) Abigail loves the detail of the large ‘Don’t Lose Your Head’ canvas piece. Phebe, on the other hand, would choose the ‘Barbarian’ at the moment with its powerful Barbie imagery and witty narrative!

Basically, our favourite artwork is always the next one being created, as we love the process so much! The rediscovering of childhood favourites, memories and nostalgia, and exchange of ideas between the two of us and taking lots of time before we even get to the workshop!

Head over to the Cameron Twins artist page to discover these four brilliant new prints and keep up to date with their latest releases. 

NEW RELEASES

The Wild Swim from £120

Oli Mumby

Various sizes

Off You Pop by Louise Nordh
Exclusive
Off You Pop £95

Louise Nordh

35 x 35cm

Limited edition of 30

Moving Forms by Mr Penfold
Exclusive
Moving Forms £165

Mr Penfold

26 x 30cm

Limited edition of 15

Inside Mickey's Heart from £150

Angel London

Various sizes

Navy Boy £175

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 25

I Will Bite from £135

Mathilda Mai

Various sizes

Italian Summer by SODA
Exclusive
Italian Summer £125

SODA

42 x 29.7cm

Limited edition of 40

Let's Get It On £595

Linda Charles

56 x 76cm

Limited edition of 45

Wash the Blues Away by Charlie Haydn Taylor
Exclusive
Wash the Blues Away from £150

Charlie Haydn Taylor

Various sizes

Inhale £175

Joe Webb

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 30

Roarsome - Green by And Wot
Exclusive
Roarsome - Green £195

And Wot

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 2

Fresh £200

Hannah Adamaszek

60 x 75.5cm

Limited edition of 15

Destroy the Patriarchy Not the Planet (Mini) £400

Hannah Shillito

27.9 x 21cm

Limited edition of 20

Scratchin' Cats (Blue) £150

The Cameron Twins

33 x 36cm

Limited edition of 20

Fast Dog £95

Gavin Dobson

50 x 70cm

Limited edition of 100

Pangolin - Framed by Lisa Lloyd
Ready To Hang
Pangolin - Framed £150 £130

Lisa Lloyd

44 x 44cm

Limited edition of 50

In The Sky With Stars £195

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

70 x 100cm

Limited edition of 16

Meet Me in Matisse's Garden - Framed by Benjamin Thomas Taylor
Ready To Hang
Meet Me in Matisse's Garden - Framed £275 £255

Benjamin Thomas Taylor

56 x 76cm

Limited edition of 25

Gamebuoy by Nick Chaffe
Exclusive
Gamebuoy £100

Nick Chaffe

29.7 x 42cm

Limited edition of 50

Seascape W £300

Newton Blades

50 x 30cm

Limited edition of 100

Space Cadet - Magma by RYCA
Exclusive
Space Cadet - Magma £180

RYCA

13 x 26cm

Limited edition of 12

Attitude - Framed by Sara Pope
Ready To Hang
Attitude - Framed £110

Sara Pope

33.5 x 33.5cm

Limited edition of 100

Ley Lines £450

Maxine Gregson

100 x 50cm

Limited edition of 250

'Amazing' Shell - Framed by Charlie Evaristo-Boyce
Ready To Hang
'Amazing' Shell - Framed £125 £113

Charlie Evaristo-Boyce

54 x 20cm

Limited edition of 50

What's That Then by Nick Chaffe
Ready To Hang
What's That Then £400

Nick Chaffe

27.8 x 54.8cm

Limited edition of 5

Les Oiseaux - Artist Proof £295

Epi

42 x 29.7cm

Limited edition of 50

See You Later Alligator! £550

The Cameron Twins

51 x 72cm

Limited edition of 10

The Olive Branch (Azzuro) £2,500

Magnus Gjoen

95 x 120cm

Limited edition of 3

Down The Rabbit Hole... by Mark Petty
Ready To Hang
Down The Rabbit Hole... £295

Mark Petty

27 x 37cm

Limited edition of 50

AZUL Mini £125

Florence Blanchard

40 x 40cm

Limited edition of 25