Lucinda Grange to publish book

AN extreme photographer is to share her death-defying feats with the world as she seeks to take her remarkable life to print.

The front cover of Outside the Lines will feature the breath-taking image of the North-East artist balancing precariously from one of the eagles of the iconic Chrysler Building in New York.

But what the striking picture fails to show, a story Lucinda Grange will regale in prose, is the fact the long sweeping ball gown she is wearing hides a painful truth.

“The day before, I was in a hit and run and nearly lost my leg,” said the Cleveland College of Art and Design graduate, of Hartlepool.

“I had to undergo surgery and lost a lot of blood. I was wearing a leg brace and the nerve damage affected my balance, otherwise I would have got closer to the eagle’s head.

“I was also exhausted having climbed the emergency stairs, one step at a time, from the 21st floor to the 61st, with all my kit.

Lucinda is a leading light in an underworld sub-culture of extreme photography which involves a high degree of subterfuge.

To get to the top of the Chrysler Building she and her friend attended a dentist appointment on the 21st floor to get past security. They then sneaked up the stairs to the top floor before climbing through a window on to the roof.

Lucinda set up her camera on a tripod, changed into her dress, before capturing the sunset image which will feature on the front cover of her book.

“It felt so much more real than being among the tourists in the cage on top of the Empire State Building,” she said.

“I have already sold one of the pictures and have pre-orders for half the planned limited edition book run. I’ll be able to pay my friend back for the X-rays I needed on my leg.”

The book, will also feature Lucinda’s latest foray into strife-torn Egypt where she dodged life-threatening curfews to climb the largest pyramid at Giza.

“It took us 24 hours in all because we had to hide in the compound and watch out for random security patrols,” the 25-year-old said.

“We only had bottles of water, some wafers and a couple of pitta breads. It was so still over night that we heard the gunshots in Cairo as Muslim Brotherhood supporters were being shot dead.

“We hid until we saw a camel; that meant the pyramids were open again and we were just negotiating a price when security spotted us. We had to escape into the desert on camel-back where security couldn’t follow.”

On top of the pyramid she left a signed copy of a book published by a friend, who is also an extreme photographer. “He had climbed it before me and hidden the book but some Russian climbers had found it and taken it as a memento; so I replaced it,” she said.

Other notable climbs completed by Lucinda include Notre Dame, the Angel of the North and in London, the Shard and the chimney at Battersea Power Station.

But equally momentous in Lucinda’s life is her recent decision to donate eggs to a couple who could not conceive.

“It was one of the most amazing things I have ever done,” she said. “I had to self-inject hormones which made me feel elated. There is a shortage

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of people donating eggs and I know that infertility can place a huge burden on relationships so I just really wanted to help a family.”

Her story, as featured in American GQ about urban night explorers, is expected to feature in a movie, currently being written in Hollywood.

It is three years since Lucinda graduated from CCAD with a BA in photography but she still keeps in touch.

“It’s a great college and I have been back to speak to students about the endless possibilities out there if they have the courage to go for them,” she said.

For more details of her book log on to http://www.indiegogo.com/projects/outside-the-lines-the-book.

For more information on opportunities at CCAD call (01642) 288888 or log on to www.ccad.ac.uk.

To view the Hartlepool Mail article, please click here

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