Lennette Newell was born in the high plains of Kimball, Nebraska. Daughter to a large animal veterinarian, her fascination with animal behavior sparked at a young age amidst a ranch equipped with a large animal hospital. Due to her father’s profession, she began to learn the scientific ideas behind various animal mannerisms. Though as a child she also observed many other characteristics mirrored in herself, leading her to see the animals as something beyond a patient to be treated. Her curiosity with animals was augmented by her captivation with the entire natural world, from the plants growing in her yearly garden to the dramatic cloud formations penetrated by diverse sunlight patterns. Mesmerized by her environment, Lennette chose to use the art of photography to capture these enthralling aspects of life. Beginning as a commercial photographer, she specialized in advertisements containing human and animals. Simultaneously she maintained a passion to pursue fine art, constantly photographing humans and animals in original styles to reveal the beautiful personalities of living creatures. Her work has been recognized for many photographic prizes, including the International Photography Awards 1st in Pets and the Graphics Photography Annual Gold & Silver Winner in 2014, and shown in several exhibitions, for example, Leo Burnett in London, LA Art Fair, Municipal Heritage Museum, Malaga and The Fair Art Show in New York etc. Acclaim for her Ani-human series has inspired her to continue expressing the exquisiteness of animal characters in a hope to make others aware of what we might be losing if environmental destruction continues. For more about her work visit her website www.lennettenewell.com.
Wild is an adjective we often use to describe animals, reflecting the distance separating our civilized life-styles from the outlying natural world. In Lennette Newell’s Ani-human series, the gap between humans and wild animals is diminished, along with any hierarchy that has been imposed by the technology of man. Each subject, whether animal or human, is equal. Although, the human subject could even be seen as subservient, trying to mimic the grace and physical beauty of the animal, yet imperfectly. An observation that is emphasized by the animals’ effortless elegance placed in both a man made studio and an environmental backdrop. Together without a spatial barrier, an original relationship unfolds between the animal and the human, a peaceful coexistence that is not exploited by the somatic dominance of the animal, who could in a time period of seconds curtail the human’s life. Snapshots of these interactions convey a joint persistence, though it is safe to say these interactions do not persist in space and time. The series portrays the certainty that a tranquil co-inhabitance can exist, and therefore the possibility that it could propagate!
Whom do you look up to?
So many, but here are a few Elliott Erwitt, Diane Arbus, Richard Avedon, Helmut Newton and my daughter Zoe.
Who or what has been the biggest influence on your way of thinking?
So many people have touched me through the years and I’m greatful. Where I grew up and my interactions with animals and the wide open space has been the biggest influence in my continued approach, beliefs.
How would you describe yourself in one sentence?
Intensely, passionate image creator with a sense of humor!
What was your favourite project and why?
I find myself so fortunate to have so many wonderful experiences, it would be very hard to pinpoint just one project.
What was the biggest challenge you’ve faced during your career as a photographer?
Getting started and the confusion it entails.
Quotes and Wisdoms
How do you define creativity?
Progressive thought which comes from your soul and defines your original, raw intent visually.
Do you have a favourite quote that describes what you truly believe in?
“One doesn’t stop seeing. One doesn’t stop framing. It doesn’t turn off and on. It’s on all the time.” (Annie Leibovitz).
Persevere for your purpose and be a good person.
What do you know now that you wish you knew at 21?
Listen to your own gut/passion more than being worried about putting food on the table if you can.
Is there anything for which you would be ready to give up your passion for photography?
All images © Lennette Newell
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