Preparations continue for A Body of Work
Paul and Kelly and I continue to work on plans for our project, working out the logistics of A Body of Work.
We will begin transforming the yoga studio into a photo studio Monday afternoon, loading in lights, backdrops, scrims and all the other equipment needed for the shoot. Our first shoot will take place that evening, consisting of images and footage of the unadorned body (me), as well as the preparations for beginning to apply the henna designs.
Tuesday will be the most daunting day of the project — the henna marathon. Kelly hopes to be able to complete most, if not all, of the major henna designs in one day. It is a huge undertaking and no doubt will be an exhausting 12+ hours of work. Paul will be photographing and videotaping the process throughout.
Any final henna application will happen Wednesday, and from that point forward Paul will be shooting images and footage of the henna as it naturally darkens and ultimately fades from the skin. We’ll be shooting yoga poses and movement through the weekend and sporadically through the next week or two until the designs are just a memory (and a lot of digital images!). Editing and moving into the next phases of the project will occur later.
I will be channeling my most zen self on Tuesday, as I will have to be still for long periods of time, sometimes standing, sometimes seated, and (mercifully) sometimes lying down.
Challenges for me will include:
- Moving when I have to without flaking off the henna paste as it’s drying — difficult with arms and legs, in particular.
- Scratching an itch without disturbing the henna.
- NOT scratching an itch.
- Not moving and thereby jarring Kelly’s hand as she applies henna.
- Oh, and spending the day with no clothes on — even amongst friends. I’m sure after the first hour I won’t even think about it, but I literally won’t be able to cover up until after the paste has dried completely.
- And probably many more that I will discover as the day progresses.
I can only imagine what challenges Paul and Kelly will face, the most obvious being Kelly’s hand cramping. (Kelly and Paul, feel free to comment on this!)
- Tuesday: Shaved the head — SMOOTH!
- Wednesday: The stubble began to poke through and my head felt a little scratchy. When I took my t-shirt off, it got stuck trying to go over my head! It was like having a Velcro head.
- Thursday: My head felt like sandpaper.
- Friday: Softer, not as “sharp” feeling.
Needless to say, I’ll be shaving it smooth again just prior to the henna application and shooting. And the overall response to the new look has been positive.
My mom is here visiting for the better part of a month and was dreading seeing me with no hair (like it was so long before?!), but after I shaved it all off, even she admitted that it didn’t look bad. “You’ve got a good-shaped head.” Whew! But what will she think of all the henna? The jury is out.
Fortunately I was able to take her to Friday Night Henna at the studio last night to demystify the henna process and so she could experience for herself how wonderful henna is! She met Kelly and seemed at ease.
Honestly, Maxine, you are the best!
I know I have challenged her on many occasions with things that are beyond her sphere of familiarity — way beyond! — and she has risen to the challenge every time. What an amazing human being she is!
Keep watching this space for updates…