Friday, 4 March 2011

KING SHIVA by Karen Knorr

KING SHIVA by Karen Knorr

I adore Karen's work and so, when she said yes, or rather, didn't say no, I was thrilled. The thing is that she is so busy and involved in so much that you have to be patient and wait for the call and then, suddenly, it comes as it did with me.

I first wrote to her in January 2010 and she replied saying that she may be able to use me in some of her recent work. Wow! We met for a coffee on the terrace outside the Royal Festival Hall where she said that she did most of her casting. In the meantime, I kept nudging her and she would reply asking me about my measurements etc - so, still hopeful. Then, suddenly I was given a date in late November 2010 and she told me that I was to be Shiva and be painted blue all over - yes! And devise a five minute dance - oops. Which would be filmed...gulp. She also asked if I could find a make up artist so I wrote to two with whom I had had contact previously but they didn't reply so I went on the internet and found one whom I thought would be perfect. However, she couldn't do it but did recommend Naomi Gay who said yes.

The shoot had its difficulties in that someone stole all Naomi's equipment on the way to the studio but she managed to pick up a few basic replacement items from a shop in central London including crucially, the blue body paint.

In the morning session, Karen whom, amazingly, had kept her cool whilst we waited for Naomi to arrive   with her substitute make up, asked me to rehearse some dance movements for the still photographs. We  then had a quick lunchbreak and afterwards I was filmed dancing to "Within you, without you" by George Harrison which went really well - I thought of my mother dancing years ago and that helped the fluidity of the movements. Karen seemed very pleased so, all in all, a very good day for everyone involved.

I had a very welcome gin & tonic after having a shower at Karen's home nearby when I also met her lovely family. Then, a few weeks later, I received this great photograph to prove that I had indeed been photographed by the wonderful Karen Knorr.

Websites: KAREN KNORR -
                 NAOMI GAY -

POSTSCRIPT 1. The film was never published but it was shown to great acclaim at the exhibition at Create Studios Brighton as part of the Photo Fringe 2014.

POSTSCRIPT 2 - Karen wrote to me in January 2017 asking me for my address so that she could send me some prints. They arrived a few days later in a beautiful black box - a wonderful memento of a great day.

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