Aimia | AGO Photography Prize Blog

Bison on ice: Winter in Alberta with artist Nandipha Mntambo

Late last winter, from March 17 to 24, 2015, 2014 Aimia | AGO Photography Prize finalist Nandipha Mntambo journeyed to Elk Island National Park‘s bison conservatory, not far from Edmonton. Each of the Prize’s shortlisted artists received a residency in Canada and for hers, Mntambo worked with Parks Canada‘s Pat Dunn to track and film the buffalo in the park, with help from videographer Christopher Boni and photographer Patrick Nichols. Below, she takes us through some of the residency’s key moments, captured in a series of stunning, candid photos.

“When arriving on the first day and no visible snow was showing I was a bit dejected. But as you can see that soon changed and it was beautiful.”


“Chris and I preparing for a shoot while freezing.”


“This is our first sighting of the bison – I was surprised at their size and majesty.”


“I was fascinated by the architecture of this building, and eventually we just had to shoot here.”


“I was so excited about how close the bison let us get. They were on high alert, but for some reason they let us get within 20 to 30 feet of them. It was amazing.”


“Feeling super-privileged and happy to have the opportunity to experience the landscape of Edmonton and finally being able to fulfill a long-term project.”

Learn more about the Prize and see this year’s shortlisted artists here.

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