I am excited to share with you these photos taken a few weeks ago to the lovely and talented Harriet, and assisted by a sweet Italian photographer I recently had the chance to meet in Oxford, Elisabetta. This was my first photo-shoot of 2018, and I could not desire for a different and better one: relaxed, spontaneous, focused on real photos, real beauty and real joy!
I hardly ever say I am happy with the photos I take. I always feel I have to improve my technique and be more creative, but this time I have to confess I am really pleased with the portraits taken to the beautiful Dovile. And the magic of it is that we did not do or plan anything special, if not walking around Alexandra Road, in London, and getting inspired by its architecture and the mood of the day, while chatting about our lives. It is true: “less is more”. I strongly believe in that!
“Faeries, come take me out of this dull world,
For I would ride with you upon the wind,
Run on the top of the dishevelled tide,
And dance upon the mountains like a flame.” W.B. Yeats, The Land of Heart’s Desire
The more I have the chance to work with dancers, the more I fall in love with this art!
See here some of the photos taken to the talented and beautiful Stephanie Collins in a very special location: Trinity Laban Conservatoire!
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/
“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)!
“For I do not exist: there exist but the thousands of mirrors that reflect me. With every acquaintance I make, the population of phantoms resembling me increases. Somewhere they live, somewhere they multiply. I alone do not exist.” Vladimir Nabokov
Working with reflections, dreams and delusions with the sweet Marlena.
Another chapter about my craft project is going to be open. Today I want to tell you a bit about Comfort Station, a jewellery brand I have discovered a few years ago, while I was visiting Shoreditch as one of those turists that always make the city of London crowded, noisy and happy. As soon as I noticed the shop’s window, I knew I had found something special. I immediately fell in love with all those necklaces and rings inspired by the constellations and the grandness of the universe. Being a real “vintage girl”, I was close to scream of joy seeing how old maps had been used on beautiful pendants, and how books had been hung on the wall to display the jewels. Not to mention the antique instruments, the suitcases, the music paper that were murmuring, together with the bracelets and earrings, words about love and beauty. Since that day I was waiting for the opportunity to photograph the person who was behind that work. And late in January this year I had that opportunity. I was very happy when Amy Anderson, the British fine artist who is the creator and designer of Comfort Station, replied to the email I had sent her saying she was interested in having me in her studio. When the day arrived, and I was friendly welcomed in her own little world (just in the basement of the shop), I was really excited and curious to see her at work. My camera was ready, so my eyes! I always find “behind the scenes” interesting. What can be better than photographing an artist who creates something in front of you? That’s why I want to thank Amy, once again, and leave you with the photo I took that magic afternoon!
“All the same” said the Scarecrow, “I shall ask for brains instead of a heart; for a fool would not know what to do with a heart if he had one.”
“I shall take the heart,” returned the Tin Woodman, “for brains do not make one happy, and happiness is the best thing in the world.” L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Another collaboration with performer and artist Donna Han who created this beautiful scarecrow mask.