Astrid is a British contemporary photographer best known for her sensitive portrayals of animals, in particular, horses. Astrid graduated from the Surrey Institute of Art and Design in 2002 and she has focused purely on her photographic career since 2006.
Astrid is captivated by the form of the horse, by its spirit and by the cultures within which horses subsist. Her images are considered a departure from traditional animal portrait photography - Astrid employs a combination of curiosity with a bold photographic approach to create sensitive portrayals of animals that engage the viewer.
The universal appeal and symbology of horses facilitate well-being and contentment and with this in mind Astrid’s images subliminally transport the viewer to a dimension of the possible, to a realm of stillness and awe.
These associations are complimented by the style with which Astrid frames her subject. Astrid’s work is united by a profound admiration of the animal kingdom and her work enables those who are in its presence to inhabit the world of the sentient being with which she shares this moment of unity and curiosity.
“I am fascinated by man’s relationship with horse in particular, with an animal so loyal and trusting, yet an animal that in some cultures has been seemingly swept aside with the advent of machinery. Like books to the digital world, horses can never be replaced by modern machinery. They are soulful creatures, spirits of the wild that in history intertwine with man and his needs and life whether in sport, farming or as part of other cultures. It is my goal to celebrate this species by bringing to the forefront their relevance and beauty. As Rudyard Kipling once said “four things greater than all things are women and horses and power and war”. They are deserved of being studied for their athleticism, their form, their courage and their strength. Such a symbolic species, they draw together cultures from across the globe in an unspoken language, connecting us on unspoken realms in unknown dimensions”.
For millennia, mankind’s consistent portrayal of animals in art is a testament to the importance of our connection with the animal kingdom. Man not only depicted but personified animals through art – from cave drawings to paintings and later, photography – we began to see human emotions in all manner of sentient creatures, enabling us to relate to animals on a deeper and more emotional level.
Horses enrich our lives in more ways than can be imagined and yet they seek for nothing. Their intuition and sentience is underestimated as is the diversity of the species.
The powerful rhythm of Astrid's works is represented by iconic imagery that is often produced as stylized, contemporary pieces of art.
© 2008-2022 Astrid Harrisson Photography