KATEandemily Kate Duke



Monument Gallery

by Kate Duke

“Every time someone finds out I am an identical twin they are always so shocked, and I find it so strange because it’s so normal to me yet so unfamiliar and unexpected to others. I can’t imagine how my life would be if I were not a twin because I think I would feel alone. Kate and I have always had that companionship of each other. Trying to find your own identity as an identical twin is difficult because growing up you are always considered to be one person. Although, as we grew up, we started to become very different with our appearances and interests yet still so similar in both aspects. Even though we are identical twins, some people will pick apart our appearances to find differences: their conclusion will come to who is the more attractive twin. I have never thought of myself as the “pretty twin” because it is not true, which is the same for Kate who has been named the “ugly twin” before. We are identical, but we are both beautiful in different ways. Being an identical twin is a large part of me and the bond I share with Kate is stronger than anything. I selfishly hope that I leave this earth before her so that I don’t have to live without my best friend.” – emily.

The reality of being an identical twin is one that is an almost painful dichotomy. While I feel rivalry towards my twin, I also feel a love that is deeper than any human bond. These paintings show the merging of identity that has happened between Emily and I as well as the bond and sense of rivalry we share. The subject matter is drawn from preliminary paintings that Emily and I created together. We did not allow each other to see what we were painting until we were finished one and then revealed them at the same time. We discovered that for the most part our paintings would either share a colour palette or a theme and often look very similar.  But then there would be the occasional set of paintings that would be completely different. Emily and I share a dualism that allows for the merging of our identities where we then work in harmony with each other. However, there is also this dichotomy of us being two separate people with vast differences yet through these differences we are then linked as twins. 

Using these preliminary paintings to inspire my final work, I have created an intertwining of images we made together. The splitting of the paintings allowed for the twining element to come through. By swapping the halves of the paintings to then create another whole shows our complicated relationship that eventually works in tandem through the halves of completely different paintings that are then joined to work in harmony with one another. This is the reality of being an identical twin where the things that make us similar as well as different connect us. – KATE.