The Outsider by John Feely

John Feely is a photographer currently based in Ulaanbatar, Mongolia. His allegorical approach to photography is an extension of meaningful shared experiences in a range of diverse locations, circumstances and cultures. His work is influenced by previous careers as a behavioural advisor in public education and youth detention. He is committed to independent projects that provide him with the freedom to genuinely and deeply explore.

Western Mongolia is an exposed Mars-like wilderness for three months of the year, and an icy landscape for the other nine. Kazaks and Mongols share a way of life in harmony with, and at the whim of, nature’s every gesture. They are a community of outsiders, both physically and in a globalised context. A culture not yet irrevocably changed by modernisation. 

"The Outsider" is John Feely’s photographic record of his personal journeys through Mongolia in 2014 and 2015. A need for spaciousness, providence and traditional living led him to pick out a dot on a map, with no plan thereafter. No language was shared, the process was meditative and silent. 

It can be a transformative experience to simply not fill up the space with what we know and want, and instead embrace what is actually around us. These photographs are simply an extension of relationships formed from this place.

All photos by John Feely