In the space of four years, Kyler Zeleny travelled the prairie lands of North America, driving over 15,000 km in the process to photograph and document their current realities. The prairies is an extensive region encompassing parts of both Canada and the U.S. suffering from a loss of heritage and uncertain about its future as society continues to move in the direction of mass urbanisation. The project presents the space as an understudied region, a beast unto itself, a unique meeting of landscape, industry, and most importantly, people who are a resilient breed created by generational lessons in fortitude and fortuned circumstance.
Crown Ditch & The Prairie Castle is the spiritual successor to Zeleny’s 2014 Out West, also published by The Velvet Cell. It also features an introduction by famed prairie writer Aritha van Herk and the an essay by the artist.
Kyler Zeleny (1988) is a Canadian photographer, educator and author of Out West (2014), Found Polaroids (2017), and Crown Ditch & The Prairie Castle (2020). He holds a masters from Goldsmiths College, in Photography and Urban Cultures and a PhD from the joint Communication & Culture program at Ryerson and York University. His work has been exhibited internationally in twelve countries and has been featured in numerous publications including The Globe & Mail, Vice, The Washington Post, The Guardian, and The Independent. He occupies his time by exploring photography on the Canadian prairies.