Photo director

11th Avenue N.E., Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, 2015 (Wes Bell)

Highway 41A, Veinerville, Alberta, Canada, 2016 (Wes Bell)

Wes Bell’s series “Snag,” inspired by the death of his mother, takes a beautiful and simple idea and infuses an ordinary scene with great emotional power. There is beauty, loss and poetry in every frame. After 20 years in New York working as an international fashion photographer, Bell returned to his birthplace and to fine-art photography in Alberta, Canada.

In describing this work, Bell said: “Three years ago, I was leaving for the airport after saying goodbye to my mother. She was dying of cancer. On the long drive across the Alberta prairie, I found myself distracted by flapping remnants of plastic bags, caught in barbed-wire fences that lined the ditches. Whipped violently by the wind, they were left shredded and lacerated, but trapped nonetheless in the no man’s land of boundary fences, neither here nor there. Thinking about mortality, pain and death in the context of my mother’s terminal illness, these forgotten shreds of plastic took on a deeper significance — Snag.”

Loss and remembrance are universal, and Bell makes feeling those emotions accessible and visible.


Trans-Canada Highway, Gleichen, Alberta, Canada, 2015  (Wes Bell)

Trans-Canada Highway, Redcliff, Alberta, Canada, 2016 (Wes Bell)

23rd Street N.W., Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, 2015 (Wes Bell)

Range Road 75, Cypress County, Alberta, Canada, 2015 (Wes Bell)

Highway 41, Cypress County, Alberta, Canada, 2015 (Wes Bell)

23rd Street N.W., Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada, 2015 (Wes Bell)

Box Springs Road, Cypress County, Alberta, Canada, 2015 (Wes Bell)

Trans-Canada Highway, Bowell, Alberta, Canada, 2016 (Wes Bell)