Secret garden

“A garden to walk in and immensity to dream in – what more could he ask? A few flowers at his feet and above him the stars.” Victor Hugo, Les Misérables
From a visit to the Botanic gardens of Oxford with my Lomo Instant.

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Just a room, a pretty soul, and a smile

“Youth is happy because it has the capacity to see beauty. Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old.” Franz Kafka

From an improvised (due to weather conditions) – but not less enjoyable – test shoot with the beautiful Liana VL.

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Graduation portraits – Oxford

No, this is not a dream: the best season of the year has finally started, with lots of interesting events and great people to photograph. I could not be more happy! Only a few weeks ago, I had the pleasure to work with Asuka, a lovely japanese girl and a very talented student who successfully graduated from the Oxford University. Here are a few photos I took to her and her husband Sigfrid in a beautiful Sunday afternoon. Congratulations again, and “ad maiora”, as ancient romans used to say!

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Shepherds Bookbinders – The beauty of paper

At the beginning of this year, I had the chance – a very lucky one – to visit Shepherds Sangorski & Sutcliffe’s bindery. Thinking about my craft project, a few weeks before, I was looking for interesting places where to photograph artisans working with paper and books, so you can imagine my joy when I found a few articles speaking about one of the oldest bookbinding companies in England. For a woman, and before that, for a child who believed that books, especially the antique ones, smell even better than flowers, having the opportunity to access to a similar place was already a small exciting miracle. Everyone at the bindery welcomed me with an happy smile. I spent a few hours (more than planned) looking at the craftsmen working. While I was not taking photos, I simply enjoyed listening to their stories. Some of them where in the middle of restoring an old book, some where carving and decorating precious leather covers, some other were hand sewing pages and bringing ancient maps to life. I believe that the images below will give you an idea of what I briefly but happily took part into: art, in another of its form, art shining through layers of delicate paper.

I really suggest you to pay a visit to Shepherds Bookinders’ shop, whether possible, or to look at their website: http://www.bookbinding.co.uk/

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Last days of winter

“Those slight words and looks and touches are part of the soul’s language; and the finest language, I believe, is chiefly made up of unimposing words, such as “light,” “sound,” “stars,” “music”—words really not worth looking at, or hearing, in themselves, any more than “chips” or “sawdust.” It is only that they happen to be the signs of something unspeakably great and beautiful. I am of opinion that love is a great and beautiful thing too, and if you agree with me, the smallest signs of it will not be chips and sawdust to you: they will rather be like those little words, “light” and “music,” stirring the long-winding fibres of your memory and enriching your present with your most precious past.” George Eliot

From another beautiful collaboration with dancer and model Hanna Lyn Hughes (she is also an amazing make up artist)!

©2017 Flavia Catena

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