Twin magazine celebrates 10 years of championing creativity with an exhibition at London’s 180 Strand

It seems like independent print magazines are having somewhat of a renaissance right now but if you ask Twin magazine's founder Becky Smith about it, she’ll tell you that the appreciation for them never went away. “I don’t think it ever left,” she says. “Everyone got wrapped up in this word ‘digital’ but it’s all the same thing at the end of the day. It’s about filling white pages or blanks screen with inspirational stories and images that hopefully resonate with others.” And she knows a lot about that. As numerous publications are closing their doors, her biannual, London-based title is celebrating its 10th birthday with a photography exhibition at The Store X.

Featuring brilliant photographic work from the likes of Dexter Navy, Joyce Ng and Nataal favourite, Akinola Davies Jr (who will also DJ at the opening event), Twin X is a retrospective of the magazine while also offering a sneak peek at what to expect from the forthcoming issue. “It’s really just a big cut out best bits scrapbook job!” says Smith. And what a best-of it is with images featuring a properly stellar line-up of talent including mother-and-daughter songstresses Neneh and Mabel Cherry, iconic model Alek Wek and Somali boxer Ramla Ali.

The show also offers the rare chance to see images that were, at one time or another, left on the cutting room floor. “With the Unseen section, it was a great way to reopen the conversation and to go back through an edit with a photographer a few years down th line because in that time, a lot might have changed. It is looking at something with totally fresh eyes again.”

While showcasing new talent such as Marili Andre, Agnes Loyd Platt and Stefanie Moshammer, the exhibition pays tribute to the collaborators who have been there from the start including Cass Bird, Scott Trindle and Boo George. “The magazine has really become about building and balancing great relationships and sometimes they do get better with time,” she explains. “We obviously want to nurture the new blood, but we also want to continue to grow with them over time. So, the need to collaborate and work with talents to narrate a consistent voice is always the driver.”

It’s that consistent vision and drive that has been fundamental to Twin Magazine's success. “I feel that having a beautiful and well produced magazine with great paper and printing gives any project extra kudos, but consistency is such an important factor in today’s unpredictable climate… We are fighters - no matter what’s happening in the world, we take this and turn it into a unique creative voice. London is such a cultural hub and all the diverse work that comes out of us reflects this.”

Twin X is on view from 31 January to 3 February 2019 at The Store X, 180 Strand, London

Published on 30/01/2019