Francesca Allens latest book and exhibition is a complex yet
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Francesca Allen’s latest book and exhibition is a “complex yet flourishing” portrait of her little sister

An intimate portrait of a sisterhood that straddles the familiar and the foreign, the pair’s often elusive bond is something Allen considers directly in the book’s blurb, to an almost confidential effect. “I didn’t think about that when I put it out, that it is really personal and actually that’s quite scary,” says Allen. “But it’s such a nice project and means so much to me, it didn’t feel right to put it out without the story behind it, so I don’t regret it.” 

Despite the pair’s occasional unease, there is a certain trust and understanding between them which manifests both in the photographs themselves and the way Allen describes working with her sister. “She’s interesting, the way she expresses herself – I think she’s amazing. But it’s like looking at yourself in a mirror, you’re so used to seeing your own face, and I feel that way about her and these pictures – I can’t see anything else, I can’t see it from someone else’s perspective.”

As for Alida, the experience has been largely positive. “I think she feels good. I keep asking her, because it must be strange, but she’s just really excited and thinks it’s really special, which it is. It’s quite unique too – I haven’t got a book of pictures of me, I don’t think many people do.”

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