Playing the role of photographer, model, artist and stylist, the US-based creative produces haunting deconstructed images of her own identity
After running away to New York from her native Rhode Island at 18 and living a gypsy lifestyle supporting herself through modeling, acting and performance art, Kalliope Amorphous returned home, picked up a camera and decided she would become a photographer. In 'Hypnagogia', she makes distorted and haunting images in which she is both the model and the photographer. Using mirrors to capture her own image she explores the meaning of identity through a number of different roles.
Dazed Digital: What is special about you?
Kalliope Amorphous: My work is entirely self-contained. I am the model, the stylist, the makeup artist and the photographer. I have an incredible amount of creative freedom, so in that sense, I guess I feel special.
DD: What do you find inspiring?
Kalliope Amorphous: Music, memories, poetry and literature. Even though I am a visual artist, I tend to get inspired by things that don’t have a solid visual element to them. Turning the intangible non-visual things into something that can be seen is part of why I love this work.
DD: What is Hypnagogia about?
Kalliope Amorphous: Like all of my work, Hypnagogia is about the deconstruction of identity. But, in this series, I wanted to approach the more surreal elements of this idea. The characters in Hypnagogia come from the realm of the subconscious mind and from the strange visual theater of dreams and nightmares.
DD: What else have you been working on?
Kalliope Amorphous: I have been working with gigantic, unwieldy mirrors for a series where I am casting myself in the role of twins. I have also been working on a series inspired by the folktale “Frozen Charlotte”, so I have been doing quite a bit of somewhat uncomfortable work in huge snow drifts. These images are an attempt to visually depict the sometimes opposing or disturbing aspects of the psyche.
DD: Do you work with any other artistic mediums?
Kalliope Amorphous: Film! I am very interested in the creative transition from photography to film. I am looking forward to diving into experimental film using some of the concepts that I have explored in my photography.
DD: Tell us the best bit of advice you've ever been given?
Kalliope Amorphous: To keep in mind that everything happens for a reason. The first time I heard this, I thought it was cliche. But, now I know it’s the truth.
DD: Tell us a secret.
Kalliope Amorphous: I have something called delayed phase sleep syndrome. This essentially means that I usually have the sleeping patterns of a vampire.