Catrine Val


Born in Cologne, Germany, Catrine Val (b. 1970) started her career in Vienna, Austria working within commercial advertising design, but then left this to study fine art at Kunsthochschule in Kassel, Germany. After graduating, she worked for 6 years as teaching assistant of Bjørn Melhus in the field of virtual reality, further developing her artistic position.

Val has exhibited widely across Europe and in Taiwan. In 2012, she was shortlisted for the Renaissance Photography prize and was also a runner-up for the Kaunas Photo Star Prize. Her recent project Feminist has been made in to a hardback book, published in 2012 by Kehrer, Germany and was nominated for the German Fotobuchpreis 2013.

She is represented by FELD+ HAUS.


Changing Room

This project explores the image of migrant women in the context of modern British society where they are trying to fulfil social requirements while complying to cultural and religious dogmas. Fascinated in which many women’s fashion choices are dictated by the expectations or practicalities of their working environments. A woman’s professional wardrobe is often radically different from the clothes she might wear in her private life. The portraits focus on the importance clothing plays in personal and cultural identity and on the “double lives” lived by women, who may not always feel that they can dress as they want. Based on the question ‘who are you, and who you want to be? “

For years, my primary intention is to present the role of women within diverse cultural and political systems. A central theme is of the battle between authenticity and codes of Social convention. My photographic works are informed by a fascination for philosophy an examination of social codes negotiated by women but formulated by men. I celebrate the powerful presence of independent women thinkers, throughout the ages, from all parts of the world and offer a critical reimagining and recasting of canonical female positions within the world of ideas.
I seek a new visual grammar and vocabulary to counter the invisibility of women in historical narratives. Photography offers me and my female subjects the opportunity to reimagine ourselves in this unstable world, and to build confidence in our identities and place within it. As an artist, I believe life’s most poignant moments come from the ability to fuse fantasy with reality.


Pic 5: Charmaine, 23 A Student of law and a big hit on Instagram.

Pic 6: Patti, 64 A Chef and poet from Ghana, living and enriching Luton & London's life for more than two decades.

Pic 10: Jasmine, 21 A dancer with hearing and speech impaired who is pushing her aspirations to thrive and succeed in life as any other dancers.

Pic 11: Julia, 23 A fashion graduate design student.

Pic 12: Hira, 36 A hairdresser, social worker and active Labour Party member.

Pic 13: Jenny, 53 the founder of Revolution Arts.

Pic 14: Naila, 22 A fashion design student from Pakistan.

Pic 15: Ayasha, 18 A sales assistant.

Pic 17: Dembe, 38 A mother of 4 children and from Uganda.

Pic 18: Dominique, 21 An animation student.

Pic 19: Maria, 21 A shop assistant.

Pic 20: Hannah, 36 an owner of beauty salons and a mother of 3.

Pic 21: Myrna, 64 a DJ is also known as Lady Loy and a poet.



Feminist hovers between the realms of fashion and performance, critique and joke. The photographs address the pressure to conform to sexual, societal and cultural stereotypes, combined with commodity fetishism and over-consumption.

‘Catrine Val photographs in Feminist situations, which in their humdrum nature have become archetypal, myths of the commonplace. The person pictured has radically dropped out of the now. The figure, which we see in these self-portraits, is in no place at no time, the moment shown is impossible.’ Barbara Vinken