Colleen Woolpert and Rani Young are interdisciplinary artists and identical twins. Living in different states, their practices are distinct yet complementary. While both work in video, installation and performance, Colleen also creates photo-based works and interactive objects, whereas Rani is an oil painter and illustrator. Rani’s work is often narrative, featuring a solo protagonist on a “hero’s journey”/quest for self within a flattened, layered space. Colleen creates layers in how her work is experienced: nebulous first impressions prompt closer inspection or interaction to yield discovery.
Thematically, the twins share a fascination with the idea of vision as a compelling force that pulls one forward, involving both fear and wonder. This stems from their childhood discovery that despite their shared DNA, they perceived the world and moved through it in radically different ways. Unlike Colleen, Rani lacked depth perception due to a visual impairment. Her monocular vision directed her development as a visual artist, as she translated her flat, 2D reality onto a 2D canvas. Colleen’s curiosity about her twin’s vision drove her to create artworks that incorporate stereoscopy and other perceptual phenomena.
Colleen is based in Kalamazoo, Michigan. She has exhibited at the California Museum of Photography, Griffin Museum of Photography and Light Work, among other venues, and received multiple grants. Her handmade patented stereoscope, the TwinScope Viewer, has been acquired by numerous institutions internationally, among them the Museum of Modern Art and the Smithsonian Archives of American Art. Colleen received her MFA at Syracuse University and her BA at Western Michigan University, where she later taught in the photography department. Colleen also supports local art institutions as a freelance photographer, art preparator, framer and audio describer for blind theater patrons.
Rani is based in Chicago, Illinois. She received her PBC from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago in Art & Technology Studies and her BFA at Colorado State University. The recipient of an Individual Artist Grant from the Chicago Department of Cultural Affairs, her work has been exhibited at the North Dakota Museum of Art, Oak Park Art League and ArtPrize, among other venues. An enthusiastic promoter of Chicago art and music, Rani founded the gallery and event space Resistor and co-founded it’s predecessor, Transistor, teaching art and design workshops there and at other community art spaces. Rani is also a graphic designer and motion graphics artist, and has been lead singer in numerous bands.