…feeling most alive / new work…

One year ago I moved to France.

One year ago I left Canada.

One year ago life seemed full of promise and opportunity. A dream was coming true, I was starting fresh in place that meant discovery was around every corner. Or at least behind every baguette…

But then, as life does, promise turns into reality and baguettes turn into fat if you don’t exercise. So you have to make a decision to stop eating so many baguettes. And then you have to figure out how to go forward in this new field of reality.

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My reality is one without my dad. And now I am slowly losing my mother to dementia. These things have taken from me. They have pulled at my ability to be whole. Now, I am away from home and I find one way to pull myself back together is through my camera.

joannajohnstonleron

BOOM!

August 17, 2015  5:30pm the canon exploded and from that moment on I was hooked.

I have learned so much in the past year about the history behind this incredible tradition which originated in the Camargue. My newest project, SUD_ is going to follow several manades based in and around where I live.

Beyond the village fete and the spectacle created by running bulls through towns, there is a closely knit community of riders, photographers, spectators and ranchers that keep this way of life alive. Most interesting is the number of women now riding, in what was previously male dominated work.

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This project will grow in depth over time. It is not a shift away from architecture but a shift into looking deeply at the place I live. There is great joy in the moment, in the anticipation of that which might be wild, or dangerous and potentially life threatening. Not many things today make my heart beat as quickly as these riders on their horses chasing these bulls.

That is the initial draw. The long story, the rich story, is the behind those moments but they all lead to that rush where you feel most alive.

 

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