The Girls artist duo Zoe Sinclair & Andrea Blood image

The Girls are Andrea Blood (b.1975) and Zoe Sinclair (b.1976) whose collaboration began in 1996 while at Central Saint Martins. Several years into their partnership, Blood and Sinclair were finishing each others sentences like Wyndham’s Midwich Cuckoos; wearing matching pink outfits; and winning a string of awards for their surreal, very English work. After a seven year hiatus, the award-winning duo began collaborating again in 2006.

The Girls work consists of staged portraiture photography, including self portraiture, and performance pieces. Themes explored include Englishness, sibling relationships, childhood, gender, women’s relationship with food, eroticism, and the art of drag. The Girls work has been compared to Gilbert & George, Cindy Sherman and Jeff Wall.

The Girls have previously exhibited in group shows at the National Portrait Gallery, the ICA, The Photographers’ Gallery, and the Los Angeles Center for Digital Art. Diva Magazine featured them as 2008’s ‘ones to watch’, describing their work as ‘Magical, nostalgic and amusing’. The duo have also been published in The Observer, The Guardian and Creative Review magazine.

Cult periodical Amelia’s Magazine said of their Beverley Knowles show ‘Colourful and playful with a rumbling of darkness ensures childhood naivity is undercut by a dramatic and slightly haunted adult perspective. An exhibition which ensures you’ll leave slightly flustered – One not to miss.’

Author Herbert Wright recommended the show in London le cool magazine: ‘Food guilt…it’s a girl thing! Nosh figures big with Andrea Blood and Zoe Sinclair, two ex-St Martins girls who launched this lavish, colourful show with a vicar blessing pastries on a naked woman. Those have since been scoffed but there’s a fantastic selection of works left, often sensual and twisty, like the mermaid in ’Friday’ gorging on fish’n’chips. Blood and Sinclair once gave art therapy in mental asylums, and in self-portraits they become Myra Hindley & Barbara Cartland. They dress as nurses or baroque courtesans, they pose in big photos staged like Jeff Wall pieces, but sillier. Their Photostory about the Cinderella slipper is a laugh. Life-size straw dolls in bed explore female relationships. Get into their mental bed and indulge in a strange, funny, guilty visual feast.’

Gallery owner Beverley Knowles commented on The Girls work ‘The Garden Party’: “This male fantasy of sensory pleasure and power dynamics, is acted out self-reflectively by The Girls, thereby turning the archetypal gender roles on their heads, as the female becomes at once both subject and object. By investigating these timeless topics so fundamental to the human experience with satire and irony, The Girls show a conscious engagement with their own and our controlling archetypes and so step onto the path trodden by great artists throughout history, from Hieronymus Bosch to Judy Chicago and Sarah Lucas.”