Barbour International: ForTheFreeSpirited - Catherine Magnani

This week in our #ForTheFreeSpirited campaign we caught up with Artist and Gallery Owner Catherine Magnani.

October 23rd 2017
In our Barbour International #ForTheFreeSpirited campaign we're giving you an insight into the lives of creatives who embody the free spirited attitude and style of Barbour International...
Catherine Magnani’s career has been all about pushing boundaries. As curator and director of the A-side/B-side gallery in the Hackney Downs Studios on Amhurst Terrace, she has dedicated her time to carving out a space for creative innovation. The gallery is artist-run, aiming to create a space in which experimental collaborations between emerging and established artists can thrive. We caught up with her to talk about her work...
Catherine wears the B.Intl Heyford Wax Jacket.
What makes you free-spirited?
I think my free spirit comes from not wanting to conform within percieved limitations of the already established 'art world'. I have a drive and push to offer a space without exclusions and invite a diverse audience to cross the gallery threshold without trepidation.
Tell us about your typical day?
Working in the gallery brings a varied assortment of tasks - from reading exhibition proposals to filling in holes in the gallery walls, to curating exhibitions, to serving wine at an opening, to mentoring. It's never a dull job!
Why do you do what you do?
I love to be able to support emerging artists and to offer a platform where anyone, from any background art schooled or not, can come in and create opportunity for themselves.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I would tell me to not look to the other person for affirmation or assurance, trust your instincts and never apologise for being 'just' you.
How did you get to where you are today? Tell us about your career journey...
My first job was a hairdresser which directed me on a path to art college then university and eventually set myself up as a practising artist. It was during this time and the struggle to find a space to exhibit or afford studios to work from, when I hatched a plan to set up an accessible gallery and artist studios. And almost six years later, here I am today...
What does the Barbour International brand stand for?
Independent, determined free thinkers. The rebel within us all!
Tell us why you selected these pieces form the collection?
I selected the Heyford Wax Jacket because to me it's the classic Barbour International look, with the added ability to cinch your waist in with the belt... and the gold buckle and buttons look great.
Tell us your thoughts on the product?
I love the quality of the tailoring and the simplicity of the design: hardwearing but also super stylish.
Why do you like the Barbour International brand?
I'm drawn to the legacy of the brand and its association with a nostalgic British motorcycle aesthetic.
Discover more about our #ForTheFreeSpirited campaign here or shop the Men's and Women's Barbour International collections.