In 2014, Ramona Waldner received a very special assignment; the Austrian artist was contracted to spend a year and a half traveling the globe to photograph the world’s most fascinating and rare species of bovine. Entrepreneur and author Werner Lampert, who commissioned the project, gave her the following words to ponder on her way: “The cultural, religious, and societal development of mankind as it occurred would not have been possible without cattle.”
With that in mind, Waldner tracked down over 80 cattle breeds in the most remote locations. She traveled through Europe, Africa, and Asia to photograph these proud creatures in their natural habitats. Along the way, she trekked for days at a time and camped in the deepest jungles. “We saw places no tourist had ever set foot in before,” Waldner recounts. She sought out wild yaks in the Tibetan highlands and made her way through dense Cambodian jungles with a machete in search of rare or even lost breeds. The cultural significance of these animals varies greatly from place to place. In Uganda, cows are an important status symbol. In other parts of the world, they are considered sacred.
Danger was always nipping at the heels of Ramona Waldner and her team. Not only did she have to contend with icy temperatures, she encountered poachers’ traps and landmines along the way. In the end, the long journey paid off. Her striking photographs reveal the beauty of these gentle beasts. Waldner portrays the cattle with the utmost empathy, her photographs showing the respect and humility with which she approached the subjects. Seeing these images, we are captivated by the spectacular natural landscapes and the animals’ soulful expressions. Ramona Waldner’s Cattle around the World series is an homage to bovines and a subtle reminder of a link between man and animal that dates back millennia.
|1987 ||Born in Lienz, Austria |
|2001-2006 ||Secondary education in Art and Design, CHS Villach, Austria |
|2008 ||Master’s Degree in Photography, Innsbruck, Austria |
|2008-2010 ||WDA Design Academy, Salzburg, Austria |
|2008-present ||Freelance Photographer |