Grandmother of 10 walks 19 miles a day in -25°Mongolian terrain to get the perfect shot

13th July 2022

A 71-year-old grandmother of 10 from Margam, has travelled the world to find the perfect shot as part of the Welsh Photographic Federation, and has now brought a prestigious, UK-wide photography exhibition to the Quadrant Shopping Centre, Swansea.

Jenny Hibbert, who was given her first camera at age 11 has since travelled to far corners of the earth to find striking shots, from Japan to Mongolia.

Her shots of nature have featured in BBC Country File calendars and have seen her become a judge of international photography competitions.

Speaking of her experience, Jenny Hibbert, said: “I’ve always had a love for photography, since a young age. But as life began to unfold, I began to lose touch with my hobby, until I found myself going through a difficult divorce at 62 years old. I had two choices, to really let the difficulty of my divorce, to affect me and my happiness, or to re-discover something I loved all those years ago.

“I decided on the latter and I haven’t looked back since.

“Throwing myself into photography has allowed me to do things I would never imagine.

“I have travelled to Japan, Finland, the Arctic and Mongolia and many other wonderful places. My Mongolian trip was gruelling but so worth it. I was selected to be part of the trip. I had to prove that I could understand and get along with other cultures, and withstand the cold.

“The days would be -25℃ and the evenings reached -35℃. Water would freeze solid overnight. I walked 19 miles a day, photographing Kazakhs as they migrated livestock from their winter home to spring home. Herds of goats, cows, sheep, yaks and camels were part of the journey, and it was a privilege to experience it at first hand.

“Trips to the Arctic are almost otherworldly but it’s getting increasingly difficult to photograph polar bears with the effects of global warming. More and more bears are breaking away on platforms of ice and it’s a truly difficult and tragic sight to witness. You realise just how much the world is changing, and rapidly.

“That’s what I love about photography, it’s being able to capture a moment in time. I have a photograph of mine features in the exhibition at the Quadrant which shows a really memorable moment during a trip to Finland. It’s of a brown bear guarding its kill, a large, grand moose. It was bitterly cold and I could see every breath of the bear in the cold Finnish air. That moment is clearly and eerily captured in the shot.

“I’m proud to be able to bring such an impressive photography exhibition to the centre of Swansea, giving shoppers and locals the opportunity to experience incredible photographs and moments captured from across the world.”

The Wales Federation Exhibition at the Quadrant features 150 photographs, which have been selected from a collection of 1,300 images from photographers across the UK. These photographs feature 50 nature, 50 colour, and 50 mono pieces. This marks the first leg of a UK-wide tour of the exhibition.

Quadrant Shopping Centre manager, Lisa Hartley, said: “It’s an absolute pleasure to host this exhibition at the Quadrant. We want to give customers new reasons to visit and this exhibition alone has attracted so many additional customers to the centre. Shoppers have loved being able to see some of the best photography pieces from across the UK and we are proud to house them for the full month of July as part of our Pop Up Wales project.”

The exhibition is located opposite JD Sports and near Vision Express in the Quadrant Shopping Centre until July 30.