Catherine Henriette

Winter tale

Summer tale

For around thirty years, Catherine Henriette has been observing China, with its economic, cultural and social evolution. Thirty years in which the pulse of the country has been racing. Things have been moving fast. Too fast. The landscapes and cities have been transformed, becoming alienated and spoilt. Everything is being sacrificed in the name of development and profit. At any price.

As a firsthand witness to this frenzy, Catherine Henriette wanted to pause time and pick up her Leica camera and rolls of film, like an easel. She wanted to stop and play with the vanishing points and the figures, with modern China as a backdrop, photographed like a shifting mirage.

The patient waiting for pure lines and outlines, the subtle constancy of the emerging image… It was like a tale halfway between reality and her imagination.


Catherine Henriette has been living on the Basque Coast for 20 years, moving to the rhythm of its tides, its changing moods and its improbable light. She had never imagined photographing her everyday life, perhaps because she was scared of déjà vu. But a chance photo changed her mind, the result being so different to what she knew. She decided to go further with a Hasselbad, a few lenses and a scooter. This was essential kit for following the tribe of surfers in Volkswagen buses and wetsuits migrating from beach to beach with the tides – the “lefts,” the “rights” (waves) and the sacrosanct SWELL.


Cirque de Lescun

The Metamorphosis of Landscape

If snow falls in the mountains during the night, the very next morning Catherine Henriette will take the road to “Cirque de Lescun“, where she finds a familiar landscape: she owns a sheepfold in this region of the “Pyrénées Béarnaises“. These snowfalls create an atmosphere that she constantly tries to evoke. She gives us a series of images that “create” a sensation – it’s not about showing grandiose scenery and spectacular colours or light. On the contrary, Catherine Henriette chooses to share an intimate experience of the landscape, commensurate with the pleasure she takes in contemplating it. One could even venture to say that it is not the landscape itself that imposes itself on her, but the way in which she watches it metamorphose, through a subtle veil that the snow forms as it falls silently, without ever forming a screen. The details fade away to make way for a vision of nature that could be described as impressionistic, framed in a composition that brings to life here a winding road, there a tree stretching out over the horizon. The colours are also subdued: Catherine Henriette plays on the infinite nuances offered by the diversity of plant and mineral matter present in the landscape, their appearance modified by atmospheric phenomena. With these photographs, the artist wraps the viewer in the same warm and sparkling air.

Gabriel Bauret



Conte d’hiver, Conte d’été

Paris Photo FAIR

08.11.2018 – 11.11.2018


Conte d’hiver, Conte d’été

La chambre de la collectionneuse, Paris

April 2017

Conte d’hiver, Conte d’été

Salon What’s up Photo Doc. 

Espace des Blancs Manteaux, Paris

February 2017


Born in 1960, Catherine Henriette lives between Paris and le Pays basque.

After studying Chinese, she arrived in Beijing in 1985 and began a career as a press photographer. Engaged by the France Presse Agency at the time of Tiananmen events in 1989, she left China in 1991 and since has work for many magazines.for various magazines.