Helen Cox is a UK author. She made her on-screen debut in The Krankies in 1990. Given the choice, her Mastermind topic would be Grease 2 and when someone asks her if she is a god she says 'yes.' Oh, you want to know about her books? Best click some of the links below.
As part of the ongoing research for my New York-based fiction, I’m conducting short interviews with people living in The Empire City and today’s subject is New York Street Photographer, Kalliope Amorphous. Few things give me more pleasure than reading other people’s blogs and one day I stumbled across the dreamiest, NYC photographs I’d seen in a long time. They were all taken by Kalliope and she’s kindly permitted me to publish a selection of her photographs in this post.
Incredibly, given her skill and bold vision, Kalliope is a self-taught photographer. Her work has received international acclaim and her photographs have been exhibited in an impressive number of countries. Everywhere from India to Holland.
Currently, Kalliope divides her time between Providence, Rhode Island and New York City, and took five minutes out of capturing the world around her to talk to me about life in The Big Apple.
Helen: What kind of work do you do in New York?
Kalliope: I have just started doing street photography in New York. I cannot imagine a more perfect place for street photography than New York City. Everything in this city has an iconic energy to it and everyone and everything seems to carry a million stories. Those stories come through in the landscape, in faces, and ultimately in the photographs.
Helen: What’s your favourite thing about New York?
Kalliope: There are a lot of dichotomies about being in the city. One of my favorite ones is that you can feel completely isolated yet at the same time feel like part of a larger organism. It’s easy to go unnoticed here and just blend in. I spend half my time in NYC and the other half in Rhode Island and the differences between the two are very dramatic.
I don’t really have any hangouts, because I’m a bit of an antisocial creature. I am slightly addicted to Zabar’s and I love Central Park during all of the seasons. I go to a lot of theater, films, and live performances.
Helen: What’s been your scariest moment in the city?
Kalliope: I’ve never really had a scary moment in the city, but back in 2001 I had just left my apartment across from the World Trade Center to drive across the country. When I reached the West Coast, the September 11th attacks had occurred. So, I was watching the devastation of both my neighborhood and my city unfold on television. My apartment building that I had just left kept showing in news clips and it was all just so devastating and surreal. So, that was the most scary NYC-related situation I have experienced. It was all so devastating. I had just left and my only window into what was happening was the news.
Helen: How do the people of NYC surprise or inspire you?
Kalliope: I’ve lived here on and off since my teens and I have always preferred the people of New York to any other state. I was actually born in Rhode Island and spend half the year there. It’s the sleepy, seaside aesthetic of Rhode Island that I love. In New York, it’s the people, energy, and culture that I love. So, I am able to get the best of both worlds by living in two completely different energies, which is really helpful to me as an artist.
I think we are certainly some of the most resilient people and that’s always inspiring.
Helen :If you had to describe NYC in words instead of pictures, what would you say was at the heart of the city and why?
Kalliope: Movement and meaning. There is a sense of life here that is very present and powerful. Things and people move fast, like blood rushing through arteries. Because the presence of life is so large and obvious here, I tend to have a very strong awareness of the fragility of life when I’m here. The fragility of life and the passing of time is what all of my work has always been based on, and only recently have I channeled that into street photography.
You can find out more about Kalliope and her work on her website, here.
If you enjoyed this interview, you might also enjoy the first post in this series: 5 New York Minutes With Film Editor, Debbie Rolf.
My debut, New York-set novel, Milkshakes and Heartbreaks at the Starlight Diner is due to be published by HarperCollins via their Avon Books imprint in summer 2016.