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Creative Families: Meet the Cockcrofts

Some creative families spur a particularly envious streak in us – we wallow in the fact that we weren’t born into them. 10and5 explores these pockets of artistic families to celebrate how artists rarely exist in isolation from the inspiring familiar backgrounds they spring from. The Cockcroft’s come to mind because not only are they young, emerging artists with talent worth sharing, but their family-orientated nature makes one feel a little lighter: living with a piece of their contagious tenderness.

It’s not uncommon to see brother, Liam, and two sisters, Isabella and Francesca, walking hand-in-hand, with cameras ready to capture a striking landscape or quirky, yet professional self-made video. Although this common thread of humor and style weaves through them, an important keystone is that their artistic tastes take very different trajectories. A Q&A with them reveals this.

Franschhoek Landscape by Francesca Cockcroft

Isabella’s forte lies in digital art: exploding neon colours and adorable characters. Francesca illustrations have a meticulous precision that can be described as styled realism. Liam is a filmmaker who also indulges in 35mm and medium format film photography. He portraits elegant scenes and swoons any audience with an emotive message. His two sisters are often the subject of this photography and they’ve toyed with the idea of collaborating – perhaps revolving around creating an interactive room at a music, art or gaming event. Liam has begun a similar stem by working on installation exhibits for a collective “Glitch Culture” that merges music and art in Cape Town.

Francesca, captured by her brother, Liam.

Coming from a family of graphic designers and artists, the Cockcroft’s have a level of experience that could only have been bred into them from a young age. Now, they are advanced past their years (Isabella and Francesca are 19 and studying at Red and Yellow, while Liam is a 22-year-old City Varsity graduate). 

Isabella is inspired by Grimes; Liam by William Kentridge and Yorgos Lathimos (director of The Favorite); while Francesca says that all things Japanese strike a chord in her.

Francesca Cockcroft Self-Portrait.

Having such a tight-knit household of passionate, Italian energy, there must have been moments of collision – especially when, amongst inspiration, there can be competitiveness between siblings. Francesca (affectionately known as Kika, meaning ‘small seed’ in Italian) and Isabella expressed that being younger, it was difficult to make their own way when the talented older brother cast such an intimidating shadow. The playing field has somewhat evened out now that they each make a powerful mark on the world.

There is no doubt that there is an abundance of support in this trio – leading them to having exhibited and screened their work from such a budding age. Perhaps the Cockcroft’s had no choice, be it nurture or nature which commands them to be artists. With such talent, variety, and charm, as individuals and a family collective, they are worthy of bookmarking. 

Kika is working on her next exhibition for ‘The Gallery’ at Studio ElevenEleven.

View Liam’s latest Cinematography Showreel and Photography Portfolio.

And Isabella’s work here.

“Ecstatic XTC-69” by Isabella Cockcroft

Between 10 and 5