Style Curious

01/05/2008

The curious world of Catherine Cazalet

I was curious to find out more about Catherine Cazalet who’s designed and painted some of the beautiful screens that are available from the ShopCurious website.

I originally met Catherine when I stumbled upon her at an exhibition and was struck by both the simplicity and the vibrancy of her work – an unlikely mix that probably has much to do with Catherine’s formal classical and figurative training, combined with her lifelong interest in colour.

Catherine’s interest in art appeared at an early age and was greatly encouraged by her very artistic mother. After an art foundation in North London, Catherine spent a year studying at the Studio School in New York, before completing a degree at Newcastle University. She subsequently embarked upon an apprenticeship at the Stirling Studio in London, a specialist decorators’ workshop, where she worked with everything from metal and mirror to glitter and gold.

Since then, Catherine has spent four years working for herself as a specialist painter and the designs for her screens have been predominantly inspired by Chinese and Japanese themes. Each screen is individually hand painted and takes around 3-4 days to complete, depending on whether the paint is oil based or not.
Catherine Cazalet Printed Screens
Catherine is an impossibly sweet and ebullient girl who simply exudes happiness, laughter and fun. When I asked her what makes her curious, she replied “the unknown or the unimaginable, the possibility of something a bit different and out of the ordinary”. When Catherine is developing an idea, she often thinks about how she can push it further and what that would look like and who would be crazy enough to like it. Her dream commission would be “something on an extraordinary scale, something wild and eccentric – the more of a challenge the better.” Watch this space!

The artists that Catherine is inspired by include Matisse, Jean-Michele Basquiat, Picasso, David Hockney, Turner and Gauguin. Her favourite places for inspiration include the V&A and the Tate Modern, beautiful houses that are open to the public in and out of London, antique warehouses stuffed full of unusual pieces, old book shops, art shops, exotic locations all over the world … and running in the park. She especially likes the parts of London that feel the most Dickensian and old-fashioned.

Curiously, Catherine’s ideal dinner party guests would include “Dali, because he would sometimes wear a loaf of bread on his head, Neil Armstrong, Leonardo da Vinci, Beowolf, Picasso, Mr Darcy and Bruce Lee.” - Should definitely make for some very curious conversation!