Mao and Kalissi

“Before a Cat will condescend
To treat you as a trusted friend,
Some little token of esteem
Is needed, like a dish of cream;
And you might now and then supply
Some caviare, or Strassburg Pie,
Some potted grouse, or salmon paste —
He’s sure to have his personal taste.
(I know a Cat, who makes a habit
Of eating nothing else but rabbit,
And when he’s finished, licks his paws
So’s not to waste the onion sauce.)
A Cat’s entitled to expect
These evidences of respect.
And so in time you reach your aim,
And finally call him by his name.” T.S. Eliot, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats

Curious, sweet, adorable, Mao and Kalissi (one is a siamese/ragdoll cat, and the other one a bengal) are some of the most friendly cats I have met while working on this project so far. It was lovely to spend some time with them and her mum Manna, and I believe these photos below speak for themselves about how we enjoyed each others company!

©2018 Flavia Catena

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Nadia – Test shoot in London

Portraits from a test shoot with the sweet Nadia Boiko, from D1 Models.

Make up: Kayleigh Keen

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Harriet

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!

Model: Harriet Russell/Photography assistant: Elisabetta Vacchetto

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Autumn as a second spring

“Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Albert Camus

Model: Virginia Tozzi

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Dancing close to the sky

“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!

©2017 Flavia Catena

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Neil

It is now three years since I met Neil, quite soon after moving to Oxford. It was one of my first models here in England, and he helped me so much with getting confidence in myself and in the work I am doing. I was then happy to photograph him again, after a long time, this spring. Here are some of the photos we took in his apartment, under the supervision of his playful snake Patrick (see the picture below!).

Model: Indroneel Chatterjee

©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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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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British artists

As you may know already, craftsmanship and art are a real passion of mine. Since the beginning of my path as a photographer I enjoyed taking photos of people at work. Last summer, with the idea to build a proper series on British creators, I started to contact artists in Oxford and having the pleasure to have them in front of my camera.

In the photos below you can see the work of Itsuko Doherty, a great painter originally from Japan, who studied in Tokyo, at Cornell University and at the Sorbonne, and whose work has been internationally exhibited. It was such an amazing experience to see her painting and to chat in front of a cup of coffee while the neighbours’ cat was snooping around the garden!

A few days earlier, I had the joy to visit and photograph Gabriella Blakey, a lovely lady, originally from Rome, who paints elegant furnitures and works on intaglio, appliqué and inlay using coloured veneers on wood. Mainly speaking about our native country and about art, we spent a really beautiful morning together!

After a few months when I mainly did research for the project, I went back to work on it and I discovered Hannah Shipway’s creations. She is a pround pottery maker, whose beautiful tableware will make you think: “I want one!”. She has her own studio in Oxford, where I was welcomed and where I photographed one of her tipical morning at work, blessed by the sun and fascinated by the shape of the bowls coming up from the wheel.

To know more of these artists, that I dearly thank, I suggest you to visit their website:  https://sites.google.com/site/itsukodoherty/home; https://www.gabriellablakey.co.uk; https://www.jerichostudiopottery.com/

©2016-2017 Flavia Catena

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Apollineum

Today I want to share with you a selection of images from a fashion photo-shoot done with the very talented and lovely Travis S C-Knight and James Pett, both dancers at the Wayne McGregor Company. It is always a pleasure to work with such nice people and artists, and it was very inspiring, in this case, to play both as a photographer and as a stylist. We had fun, despite the cold of the day, and I think we ended up with some nice photos. But I leave you judge this. I can’t wait to work again with these two! Thank you for all you have beautifully done, guys!

©2016 Flavia Catena

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Wardrobe: COS, Reiss, Jaqueline, Zara, United Colour of Benetton, H&M, Dolce & Gabbana,
Tezenis, Massimo Dutti, Stafford, Boombogie, vintage clothes