Island Life: Photographs from the Martin Parr Foundation

Karen Knorr

Born 1954 Frankfurt, grew up Puerto Rico

‘I acquired my first Brownie Kodak camera at the age of nine. So photography has always been a central part of my life.’

‘I am an American citizen, an ex-pat living in London, with a mix of European origins including Norwegian, German, and Polish. My identity seems forever displaced and yet I’m very attached to the multi-cultural tolerance that London promises when it shows itself at its best’

Knorr’s parents worked for Stars and Stripes, the US paper for overseas service men and women, her mother covering the denazification of Germany. Knorr’s counter-cultural youth inspired a critical outlook in her photography. The Gentlemen series (1981-83), photographed at the time of the Falklands War, placed texts from Kipling, parliamentary speeches and Boys Own magazine beneath the portraits of members of gentlemen’s clubs in St James.