Wild Hearts is my passion project launched in 2017. The final photography collection will be produced into a book and exhibition highlighting our beautiful native breeds and the challenges faced by them.
My Wild hearts book and exhibition is aimed at capturing the heart and soul of our native breeds which permeates through our society and helps highlight the plight of some of our native breeds.
For the last four years I have been travelling around the UK photographing for my passion project called “Wild Hearts”. This is a self funded personal project which focuses on Britain’s native breed horses and ponies. Spending time photographing the semi-wild ponies has been an absolute pleasure, in particular, observing the harmonious way in which they co-exist with their human neighbours, exhibiting in equal measure an endearing curiosity and a fiercely wild spirit. “I am fascinated by the strength and power as well as the vulnerability of these majestic animals.”I hope that “Wild Hearts” will raise the profile of our native breeds who have grazed and shaped our land for hundreds of years. some of which are facing possible extinction.
My book is not a documentary photography book with information about our native breeds, as there are plenty of amazing books which educate and document our native breeds. With a passionate message of conservation at its heart, the project’s aim is to show people the heart and soul of these wonderful breeds and to encourage people to support these vulnerable breeds, either by protecting them in their natural environment or by buying a registered pony – a step which could help save these rare breeds.
Over the years I have been overwhelmed by the support for “Wild Hearts” from horse and art lovers alike. The Rare Breed Survival Trust has helped me forge connections with breeders and breed societies.
“I have received so many messages from people telling me about herds of native breed horses or ponies in their local area as well as from people who own rare breeds and who have offered to have them photographed. The support of the horse world and the wider community who live side by side with these beautiful animals has been quite overwhelming”
My aim was to complete the project within a year! I naively thought that this was a do-able task! But juggling my work commitments, family life and the impact of Covid has meant that my project has taken a very extended deadline to being complete by 2022! Once complete there will be a gallery show and the photographs and photo-encaustic artwork will be collated into a stunning fine art book.
If you would like to join me on this adventure and help me complete my passion project, I’d be delighted!
You may be a breeder, owner or enthusiast of these wonderful native breeds and would like to have your herd/ horse/pony photographed and featured in my book. or you may be a equestrian business owner who may be interested in sponsoring this wonderful project and joining forces with me, either way I’d love to hear from you
Esther Marie Gallery
86 Huddersfield Road, Newhey