You are currently viewing Circus, steampunk combine for calendar
Thames High School student and real-life bodybuilder Alex O'Grady portrays a circus strongman for the calendar. Photo: RICHARD HORNELL PHOTOGRAPHY

Circus, steampunk combine for calendar

A quest to create a circus-themed steampunk calendar included elaborate costumes, camera-ready locals, a company of canines, and a culmination of “wild ideas”.
With 20 models, three dogs, two make-up artists, and one photographer, Leanne Grinder had to make the entire process run like clockwork.
The end result? A steampunk-circus mash-up that promotes and raises funds for Steampunk the Thames’ annual festival, kicking off in November.
The photoshoot took place in Thames over one day and was the brainchild of Leanne, who is the owner of Walter & Co Hairdressing.
“I thought about it a while ago because I was just so sick of work and how it’s been for the last three years; the same narrative with this Covid stuff. So, I started planning with the [Walter & Co] girls to do something fun,” she said.
“We’ve done photoshoots before, and with [Steampunk the Thames] doing CircusPunk this year, we would do a photoshoot themed around that.”
Karen Woodhall from Steamy Sisters heard about the idea and asked Leanne if she’d like to “carry it a bit further”.
“I can’t help myself – I said yes,” Leanne told The Profile.
It was decided that the photoshoot would be used to construct a calendar which will be ready for distribution ahead of the four-day festival.
Leanne posted a call-out for models on social media and was “flooded with enquiries”.
The photoshoot was then shot inside Steamy Sisters, with two sets at each end of the shop, and another in the middle.
The photographer was Richard Hornell from Thames Camera Club – who Leanne said understood her vision and ran with it. “What is CircusPunk? You know? That’s what I was trying to figure out, and I just hoped for the best and hoped it was well-received.”
The photos within the calendar depict familiar circus themes with a steampunk twist.
There is a bearded lady, a ringmaster, a knife thrower, fire performers, and a fortune teller.
There is also a circus strongman, portrayed by Thames High School student and real-life bodybuilder Alex O’Grady.
The calendars will be available from Steamy Sisters on Cochrane St, and Walter & Co on Pollen St, with hopes for a bigger roll-out ahead of the festival. The funds raised from the sale of the calendars will go towards the cost of running the free events around town over the steampunk weekend.
“I want to encourage people to get into it and have fun,” Leanne said. “It’s been so gloomy and it’ll be good to get back out there, get your costumes on, and let your hair down.”
DETAILS: Steampunk The Thames’ CircusPunk Celebration will take place with multiple events around town between November 10-13. For the full programme, visit: