A stunning debut collection of photography focusing on contemporary cowboy culture and the modern ranching lifestyle throughout central and southern Alberta.
Growing up in the city, Leah Hennel would spend summers with her cousins on a farm near Stettler, Alberta, about halfway between Calgary and Edmonton. The ranching and farming lifestyle intrigued and fascinated her from an early age, though she could already see that it was not an easy life to live. It’s always been hard work, but one of the glories of living it is that those who are able to deal with its gritty realities are rarely shackled to a desk or an ordinary suburban life. In this time of high-speed everything, the rural life is a calling that requires patience and know-how. The appeal is the general simplicity of the lifestyle and its regular exposure to the beauty of the landscape.
Most people, however, never get a glimpse of this way of life. They get their daily sustenance from supermarkets and rarely give a thought to where these necessities come from or how they’re produced. But whether city folks realize it or not, ranching and farming will always be vitally important.
Hennel specializes in and is passionate about documenting rural life. Through her always remarkable, vibrant and at times intensely personal photographs, she is able to both celebrate this essential pursuit and, in doing so, perhaps educate those who are less familiar with it.
Along the Western Front represents a fresh perspective on this iconic way of life and introduces photography enthusiasts to one of photojournalism’s more evocative shooters.