For those of us who grew up with no siblings or who experienced the sibling rivalry spawned by an age gap, there has always been something perplexing about identical twins. As a non-twin himself, photographer Peter Zelewski has always been drawn to the subject of twins and the strong bonds between them.
In his ongoing portraiture project Alike But Not Alike Zelewski explores the similarities and differences and the strong bond between sets of identical twins with a series of hard-hitting portraits taken over a two-year period encompassing twins of all ages, races and sexes.
The series includes the Eritrean born sisters Hermon and Heroda who both unexplainably lost their hearing at the exact same time when they were only 7 years old. Also included in the project are Sophie and Polly, a pair of monozygotic twins who are so identical they have matching fingerprints meaning their DNA is virtually indistinguishable. The telepathy and strong bond between the various sitters are further highlighted by sisters Chloe and Leah, who are so close they often find themselves finishing each other’s sentences and claim to even feel each other’s pain.
All the portraits in the series were taken outdoors against neutral or very plain backdrops to give as little away as possible to the social status or backgrounds of the twins. Although the twins are all dressed similar in the photographs the subtle yet obvious differences can be seen in their moods, their facial expressions and how they pose proving that no twins are truly identical.
Zelewski will be exhibiting some of these portraits in a new exhibition at the Hoxton Hotel Gallery in Shoreditch from 22 February. To find out more, visit thehoxton.com.