Close-up: Louise and Jane Wilson

The art world's most famous twins are making waves with their new show
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The Independent Online

The Wilson twins began their artistic careers with murder. When these identical sisters created their degree shows, they submitted nearly identical works – photographs in which they appear to be doing each other in, one by drowning, the other with a noose. Eighteen years on, they're very much alive, and established as two of Britain's leading video artists. The twin thing, though, is something they try hard to downplay: "A lot of artists work collaboratively," says Jane. "No one works in isolation. We've made a particular choice to work collaboratively and it's not something we're too conflicted with."

The 41-year-old artists were part of the YBA crowd who emerged from Goldsmiths in the early-1990s, and rose to fame with a nomination for the Turner Prize in 1999. Last year, they were selected to create a one-off piece to inaugurate Derby's art and film centre, Quad. Louise is delighted that the art world has a new home in the East Midlands: "When we were starting out, there wasn't much choice about where to work; it was either London or Glasgow."

The inspiration for their film and 3-D installation Spiteful of Dream came from visiting Derby's Bosnia & Herzegovina refugee centre. "We recorded stories of dislocation to create a soundscape where voices often overlap and interrupt each other," explains Louise.

To emphasise the physical aspect of a journey, the sisters filmed in transport factories around Derby. Scale is key to the Wilsons' work and with this piece the viewer is immersed in a darkened room, surrounded by images of factory floors and washed over by waves of dislocated voices. "We've never worked with voices before, but we don't think of ourselves as film-makers; we're artists," says Jane firmly. "We're there to make a big impact."

For more on Quad: