Twinsed: An Art Collaboration between Diana Scarborough and Ilse van den Berk

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TwinSed is an international collaboration between two artists, Ilse van den Berk (Delft, Netherlands) and Diana Scarborough (Cambridge, UK).

The project name is derived from Twin (meaning double) and Sed (from sedimentary layering). On the 15th of each month, Van den Berk and Scarborough post 10 postcards to each other; five postcards they have started and five have been completed. There is no further work done on the completed artwork.


The project started in May 2013 and finished in 2019. The collaboration contains more then 750 postcards. Both established artists have different recognizable styles and it is that combination that makes each postcard so unique. Van den Berk and Scarborough studied together at the Royal Academy of Art (KABK - Koninklijke Academie van Beeldende Kunsten) and both have a technical background.


What is important for both artists is that project is a physical art intervention. The cards become their canvas for experimentation, success as well as failure. For each completed postcard they have chosen to align, destroy, enhance or superimpose their particular visual and conceptual aesthetic onto the work of the other artist without constraint or feedback. Both artists use a range of media on the cards including paint, collage, pen, ink, stamps, wire, material, cutouts and drawing to subvert, enhance or create an artwork.


Initially, Van den Berk and Scarborough agreed that process and concept was the only intention but now that so many have been created, it has become something greater. As a visual collection, themes of colour, narrative, style, concepts, aesthetic gesture, conversations and playfulness become apparent.

It also provokes questions such as-

Who finished the cards and does it matter?

What was the reaction by Van den Berk who may have started the postcards to Scarborough’s artistic reaction and vice versa? Is that point important or not?


Should Van den Berk and Scarborough discuss their reaction to the work created by the other? Discussion may inhibit the freedom they feel in working on each other’s work and change the way they start the next set of postcards.

Are all the postcards perceived as two layered works or has a singular 'signature' art style emerged?


As the postcards are dated and marked with who started and who finished the artwork, are the postcards a visual working diary for the artist?

How could this work be exhibited or published?