Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Touching, Beautiful Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals

Like many animal lovers, photographer Sharon Lee Hart is concerned about the mistreatment, abuse, and neglect of animals. But for her book, Sanctuary: Portraits of Rescued Farm Animals, Hart decided to tell a different kind of story about animals that have seen hard times. “Folks are disturbed by images that depict abuse and torture that can occur on factory farms, and I don't blame them. It is unbearably disturbing, but I think those types of images are essential because they inform the public about the horrors that are occurring,” Hart said via email. “I admire those that make those difficult images, but I wanted to approach this from another angle and create portraits that people don’t want to look away from.”

Hart was in a residency program in Michigan in 2009 when she heard about Grateful Acres Animal Sanctuary, a facility that rescues and rehabilitates farm animals. The sanctuary was only open to the public a few times a year, but Hart persuaded the owners to let her take a look, and she ended up spending eight hours there on her first visit. Inspired by that experience, Hart ultimately visited 10 sanctuaries over the course of a year, taking powerful, intimate portraits of the lucky animals that have survived harrowing experiences. She donates a portion of her print sales to those sanctuaries

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