Daphne Karstens

Location: London
Website: www.daphnekarstens.com
Bio:

Daphne Karstens graduated from the MA in Costume Design for Performance course at London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London, in December 2014. She obtained her BA in Scenography from De Theaterschool, Amsterdamse Hogeschool voor de Kunsten, in June 2013. While this course was primarily focussed on set design it did give her the opportunity to specialise in costume design. At the moment she is based in London, but interested in projects in both the UK and abroad.

Currently she is exploring the sculptural side of costume to create experimental performance pieces. Wearable sculpture interests her; sculptural costume can be worn in a live performance, as part of a story. But it could be an installation by itself, telling it’s own story. Experimentation with unconventional materials often is a part of her designs. Besides this she is interested in technology incorporated in the design. For her graduation piece ‘PING’ she incorporated a smoke machine in the costume. At the moment she is doing more research in the combination of technology in costume.

Some project highlights of the last few years:

In December 2014 she graduated from the MA Costume Design for Performance with the performance piece ‘PING’, inspired by the piece of prose Ping by Samuel Beckett. The performance was shown at the Lilian Baylis Studio at the Sadler’s Wells Theatre in London. The piece was performed by Lorraine Smith and choreographed by Angela Wodhouse. Near-death experiences and out-of-body experiences were the main inspiration for the performance and the costume. The performance visualizes the struggle of a person submerged in an unknown and ephemeral world, exploring the relation between the physical body and out-of-body ‘spiritual body’. The spiritual body is ephemeral; it might only exist for the briefest of moments.

‘PING’ was exhibited at the Critical Costume Exhibition in March 2015 at Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland.

In 2014 the course MA Costume Design for Performance was selected to show their work based on Shakespeare’s ‘The Tempest’ at the ‘Shakespeare’s Tribes Festival’ at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London. The students showed a selection of short films, live performances and a costume exhibition at the Raphael Gallery at the V&A Museum.

As part of her BA graduation (2013) she was part of a collaboration with the ‘Dutch National Opera Academy’ and the Dutch ‘Residentie Orkest’. This project was a combination of two new compositions and the short opera’s ‘Mavra’ and ‘Pulcinella’ by Igor Stravinsky. Daphne designed the costumes for both the Stravinsky pieces. The piece ‘Mavra’ was directed by Javier López Piñón, the set designed by Liesje Knobel. ‘Pulcinella’ was choreographed by Itamar Serussi Sahar, the set designed by Sarah Nixon. Calle de Hoog designed the light for both pieces. The four pieces were shown together under the name ‘Fourstelling’ at the ‘Kees van Barenzaal’ in The Hague.

In 2012 the students of the Scenography course collaborated with the ‘György Ligeti Academy’ and created a full scenography for a musical performance consisting of three new music pieces composed by young composers, the three pieces were connected together and shown as one continuous performance called ‘Megalopolis’. Daphne worked together with the composer Assaf Gidron on his piece ‘Passages’. She designed the costumes for the musicians, and Felipe González Cabezas designed the set. The three of them created the concept for the performance, and also directed the piece. The performance was first shown at ‘Het Muziekgebouw aan ‘t IJ’ in Amsterdam and was also presented at ‘Kees van Barenzaal’ in The Hague.

In 2011 she did an internship at ‘Toneelgroep Amsterdam’, one of the largest theatre companies in the Netherlands. She assisted the set designer Katrin Brack with her design for J.M. Coetzee’s ‘In Ongenade’ (‘Disgrace’), directed by Luk Perceval. The set design consisted of 75 mannequins, which had to be dressed. This was a great experience for her to combine both set and costume design. The piece was shown at many theatres throughout the Netherlands, Belgium and France.

In 2010 she collaborated with her fellow Scenography students and students from the Modern Theatre Dance course at ‘De Theaterschool’, together they created the performance ‘RGB, a Triadic Ballet’, based on Oskar Schlemmer’s Triadic Ballet from 1922. They all designed one costume and together they worked on the overall concept, set design, sound design and light design as well as directing. The performance was first shown at ‘De Theaterschool’ in Amsterdam in 2010 and in 2011 they travelled to Prague to show this performance at the DISK Theatre during the ‘Scenofest’ festival as part of the Prague Quadrennial.

Exhibitions:

upcoming 25/09/2015 - 26/09/2015
MARIE
Role: Exhibitor, Costume Designer, Director
Film Screening at Sans Souci Festival of Dance Cinema
The Black Box Theater, ATLAS Institute, Boulder, Colorado, USA.

upcoming 19/09/2015 – 24/10/2015
‘PING’
Role: Exhibitor, Costume Designer
Evolving Design for Performance Exposition
National Centre for the Performing Arts, Beijing, China.

2015
‘PING’
Role: Exhibitor, Costume Designer
Live performance at CONFLUX
Electrician's Shop Basement, Trinity Buoy Wharf, London
Won the Trinity Buoy Wharf Trust Prize

2015
Role: Costume Designer
The Drawing Theatre – Body Narratives
London Drawing, London

2015
MARIE
Role: Exhibitor, Costume Designer, Director
Film screening Tees Dance Film Fest
Mima-Middlesbrough Institute of Modern Art, Middlesbrough, UK

2015
‘PING’
Role: Exhibitor, Costume Designer
Critical Costume, Aalto University, Helsinki, Finland

2015
‘PING’
Role: Exhibitor, Costume Designer
LCF MA 2015 Exhibition
Victoria House Basement, London

2014
‘PING’
Role: Costume Designer
Graduation project MA Costume Design for Performance, UAL.
Lilian Baylis Studio, Sadler's Wells Theatre, London