I just received the December newsletter from the photographer Isa Leshko, and wanted to share her recent photography series Elderly Animals with you. In the short documentary by Walley Films posted on the NPR website, Isa talks about the project, about how it emerged, unexpectedly, and how working on photographing these farm animals and pets towards the end of their lives she was in fact looking in the face of our own mortality as well. I am overwhelmed with how much emotion - and respect for their subjects - these images evoke. Most of the animals in these images look weary and tired, but some of them emit strong unconquerable defiance.
Here is an excerpt from an Observer article about Elderly Animals:
It’s not strictly true that all living things grow old and die. The jellyfish Turritopsis nutricula returns to sexual immaturity after reproducing and is believed to be biologically immortal. The rest of us, however, succumb to our age with weary inevitability. It’s good to have work such as Leshko’s to remind us that – be we horse, hound or human – there’s more to life than youth.