Cats and their humans – Becky and Lexi

More than one year ago, I decided to start a portrait project about cats and their female owners, being a cat lover myself, and also strongly believing in that sometimes saving bond between humans and pets. I took the first portraits, and then, overwhelmed by commissions, work, and other projects, I had to stop. But I was still looking forward to going back to that series of mine, and now it seems the time has come!

Last week I visited Becky Paton, a very talented artist who makes and successfully exhibits beautiful mosaics (please, have a look at her Instagram page @beckypatonmosaics). She lives with her family in the countryside just outside Oxford, and has a sweet and gorgeous cat named Lexi. He – yes, Lexi is actually a male cat, but the vet found this out too late for his name to be changed, as he really liked it! – was adopted by the family while he was still a fluffy little kitty. Now he is a four years old beautiful feline who loves to cuddle up next to his human mum at night, but also exploring the fields following his hunting instincts. I could see he was just impatient to go out and enjoy the sun, on the day we took the photographs. But I thank him and Becky for posing in front of my camera and sharing with me a bit of their happiness!

©2018 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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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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I shouldn’t stop waiting for you

Hello everyone, today I am delighted to share with you a new series recently published on the Italian magazine ArtAbout. These are the first portraits I took in an indoor location to the lovely Mariel. I am pretty happy about the result, and I hope you’ll like it as much as I do.

Here the full black and white project: http://www.artabout.it/i-shouldnt-stop-waiting-for-you-di-flavia-catena/

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©2014 Flavia Catena