A modern day cat show

Date: 01.10.12
Author: Louise Haywood-Schiefer
Tags:, , , , , , , ,

This summer I embarked on a personal project centered around one of my biggest loves…cats.
I live in a top floor flat which unfortunately means I am unable to have a cat of my own as there is nowhere for it to roam so I jumped at the chance to concoct an elaborate ploy to hang out with some of Crystal Palaces finest felines.
You will be relieved to hear the project isn’t purely an indulgence of my love for cats, it was also created for the latest issue of the Transmitter magazine.
The whole issue was dedicated to quirky interesting facts around the area, so whilst researching I stumbled upon the most perfect fact for me to illustrate.
In July 1871, Crystal Palace hosted the worlds first cat show. The showcase was the brainchild of an illustrator and artist called Harrison Weir who created it as a bid to stop cruelty to cats which was rife in Victorian times. He believed that by placing emphasis on the beauty of the domestic pet, they would become more precious to those who owned them.
Cat shows have been popular ever since although often the subjects under scrutiny are no longer average domestic cats. More than often they have been bred and cared for especially to show in annual competitions.
For my project I decided to take the idea of a cat show back to it’s earliest roots by taking portraits of local present day pets. None of the cats featured have been in shows yet are equally beautiful in the eyes of their beholder. I photographed them all in the same way so as to enhance their characters, though not all of them behaved exactly as I would have wanted!

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