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Finnish photographer Kati Leinonen brings sweat and bruises to Vogue Italia

Photographer Kati Leinonen reveals the everyday beauty of horse stable in her photographs. In the interview she tells more about the project.

Tell a bit about your project Äimärautio: 
The series is about a community of people who share a common passion for horses. It shows the atmosphere around the stables and projects the way of life around horses. For two years I photographed my everyday encounters around the stables. I wanted to explore my need to be around horses through photography. Continues after the image…

Image: Kati Leinonen Äimärautio -series

Äimärautio is an area dedicated to horse sports in my hometown. I started riding in a riding school there when I was seven. I went back there when I started riding again about ten years ago. My own horse lives there nowadays so I practically spend all my spare time in there. Therefore it was very natural to start photographing my surroundings and my experience of the place, its people and horses turned into the series. It is a personal work located in Northern Finland yet in a more universal level it explores very current human-animal and human-nature relationships.

The images are very honest and the aesthetics of the bruises and the roughness of nature are very present. How do you choose your subjects to your images: In general for me it is an intuitive practice. Something just catches my attention and interest. For this particular project I kept my camera with me everyday and photographed the very mundane happenings. Unfortunately accidents happen too, which I wanted to be part of the series to make it honest. The images of horse sports often show the fanciness of the competitions days, where everything is glossy and shiny. The reality however for most horse people is endless hours of hard work, blisters and bruises, but it is all worth it of course. It is the mundane activities that show the commitment and dedication that I think is interesting.

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What inspired you in this specific project the most: The inspiration comes from whatever is happening around me. In this case the place, its people and horses and the everyday encounters. Continues after the image…

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How did the series end up to Italian Vogue? I applied for Women Photographer’s Grant organized by PHMuseum, which is a curated platform for contemporary photography. One of the prizes is Vogue Italia Prize and Äimärautio was one of three winners of that prize and published in Vogue Italia. Continues after the image…

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What are your goals with the project:  My major goal was to have the project published as a photobook. Raw View Editions published it last year, which I am really happy about. Of course I dream of having the work exhibited abroad.

Where can we see your works next: Äimärautio will be exhibited in Gallery Ratamo in Jyväskylä in March 2019 and then there will be museum exhibition in Oulu Art Museum opening in June 2019.

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