19 – 29 October
Wednesday to Sunday 12-6pm
Trinity 7 gallery, 7 Trinity Street, Hastings, East Sussex, TN34 1HG
PV Date and Time: Evening of the 19th October 6.30 – 8pm
Alma Haser has always found identical twins fascinating, as do most people. It is the incredible realisation that there are two versions of the exact same person; hard to tell apart, unless they wear different clothes or hairstyles. They often finish each other’s sentences, as they are one and the same person. Monozygotic or identical twins occur when a single egg is fertilized to form one zygote which then divides into two separate embryos. Monozygotic twins are genetically almost identical. Identical twins do not have the same fingerprints because, even in the confines of the womb, the foetuses touch different parts of this environment, creating small variations in the same fingerprint and therefore making each of them unique.
Alma photographed sets of identical twins and made them into identical jigsaw puzzles. She then swapped every other piece of their puzzles, completely mixing them half and half. Not always knowing where their eyes, mouths and lips would end up, the result is a pair of eerie, unrecognisable portraits. No longer seen as completely identical, they are unique. Alongside the puzzles, Alma has folded the faces of each set of twins into complex, modular origami balls, resembling the complicity of a human embryo.
Born in 1989 into an artistic family in the Black Forest, Germany, Alma Haser is now based in London and on the southeast coast. She is known for her complex and meticulously constructed portraiture, which are influenced by her creativity and her background in fine art. Alma creates striking work that catches the eye and captivates the mind. Expanding the dimensions of traditional portrait photography, Alma takes her photographs further by using inventive paper-folding techniques, collage and mixed media to create layers of intrigue around her subjects; manipulating her portraits into futuristic paper sculptures and blurring the distinctions between two-dimensional and three-dimensional imagery.
Alma has won many awards for her work, including Magenta Foundation’s Bright Spark Award in 2013 for her Cosmic Surgery series (also the basis of a successful self-published book project). Her piece The Ventriloquist was shortlisted for the Taylor-Wessing Portrait Prize at the National Portrait Gallery in 2012. Alma also won the PDN Photo Annual Award in 2016 for her Eureka Effect series. Her work has been exhibited worldwide and recent venues have included the 2017 Saatchi Gallery show From Selfie to Self-Expression. Examples of her work are currently on show at the Now Gallery in Greenwich, London.
Alma’s current projects include the Broken in Half, but Beautiful series, delving into her fascination with identical twins, their genetics and how to distinguish them. She’s also been working on her Plant series; an exploration of what is real and what is manufactured, through using her unique paper collage and re-photographing techniques.
Image Credit: Alma Haser