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Collection

Sable Island Horses

A Horsewomen's Journey

“Debra’s photos are unique, all expressing a kind of intimacy – so interesting, compelling and creative. Quite amazing. Her art is informed by patient and intuitive observation. She asks questions, wonders and considers in great detail the meaning behind the behaviour in her equine subjects. Her artistry expresses more than the sum of sand, sky, sea, grass and horse, she feels and interprets the substance and temperament of the landscape.” 

– Zoe Lucas, Sable Island Naturalist

“In 2009 a life-changing 6-day pilgrimage to Sable Island changed my life’s trajectory. My lifetime obsession for understanding domestic horses transformed into a study of the wild horse mind, spiritual significance and social structure.  I soon discovered what many horsewomen over the centuries have known—that horses are so complex and so not able to fit into any scientific box that they will continue to inspire us and perplex us day after day.   What I do know for certain is that horses can teach us, heal us and bring a certain vibrance and purity to the landscape, no matter how pristine or battered we or the land might be.  They are cultural symbols and sentients of the highest order.  This has become much more than a photographic journey. In a very primal way, I feel as though I belong here – it is a visceral connection with the elements, landscape and horses.” – Debra Garside 

Debra Garside is the only professional photographer to be granted overnight expedition access to Sable Island in all four seasons. Debra has spent more than 90 days on the island spanning many trips from 2009 to present.

SABLE ISLAND CLASSIC SERIES

SABLE ISLAND CLASSIC SERIES

The Classic Collection represents my twenty best-selling images from expeditions spanning from 2009 -2015. During that time, I visited the island on four occasions (37 days) ranging through the seasons of Winter, Spring, and Summer. Each season holds its own charms and challenges, from the harsh winter storms to the first foals of the year in early spring, to the halcyon days of summer

The Classic Collection represents my twenty best-selling images from expeditions spanning from 2009 -2015. During that time, I visited the island on four occasions (37 days) ranging through the seasons of Winter, Spring, and Summer. Each season holds its own charms and challenges, from the harsh winter storms to the first foals of the year in early spring, to the halcyon days of summer.

Action and Interaction

Action and Interaction

The herd hierarchy plays itself out in ways that can be dynamic and powerful but are often subtle and discreet. When equines communicate with one another it is sometimes so nuanced and fleeting that it defies recognition by the human eye. Wild horses have one of the most complex social structures of any in the animal kingdom but, through decades of studying horse behaviour, Debra interprets these moods with her honed understanding of the equine language, allowing her to anticipate and capture their actions and interactions.

The herd hierarchy plays itself out in ways that can be dynamic and powerful but are often subtle and discreet. When equines communicate with one another it is sometimes so nuanced and fleeting that it defies recognition by the human eye. Wild horses have one of the most complex social structures of any in the animal kingdom but, through decades of studying horse behaviour, Debra interprets these moods with her honed understanding of the equine language, allowing her to anticipate and capture their actions and interactions.

The Island Sanctuary

The Island Sanctuary

Isolated for centuries, the Sable Island Horse has adapted to the windswept, treeless, and fogbound landscape that is their permanent home. They travel along the shores and among the dunes, seeking water, grazing, and protection from the elements — but there is something less tangible about the movements of horses across this landscape. They seem to act in rhythm with the environment and each other in an unspoken and harmonious script.

From the fierce winter storms to the gentle summer breezes, each elemental influence shapes their direction, but so then does the fog conceal it. “Do not begrudge the fog, for it comes and goes at will. Only wish you could be as free.” – Maritime saying.

Isolated for centuries, the Sable Island Horse has adapted to the windswept, treeless, and fogbound landscape that is their permanent home. They travel along the shores and among the dunes, seeking water, grazing, and protection from the elements — but there is something less tangible about the movements of horses across this landscape. They seem to act in rhythm with the environment and each other in an unspoken and harmonious script.

From the fierce winter storms to the gentle summer breezes, each elemental influence shapes their direction, but so then does the fog conceal it. “Do not begrudge the fog, for it comes and goes at will. Only wish you could be as free.” – Maritime saying.

From Above & Beyond

From Above & Beyond

Tracks in time, like the sands they are born in, have an innately impermanent quality. Like Sable herself, at the mercy of the winds, ocean currents and forces of nature, the horses migrate daily. The evidence of their movements is silent and fleeting.
“Flying at 500 feet above the shoreline, harnessed into the small fixed-wing aircraft, I was given a birds-eye view of the enigmatic island. With the door off the plane and battered by the cold and wind, the exhilaration I felt erased any discomfort. As we circumnavigated the island, I was well-aware that this was one of the most exciting and uplifting adventures of my life, and one that will stay imprinted on my memory forever.” Debra

Tracks in time, like the sands they are born in, have an innately impermanent quality. Like Sable herself, at the mercy of the winds, ocean currents and forces of nature, the horses migrate daily. The evidence of their movements is silent and fleeting.
“Flying at 500 feet above the shoreline, harnessed into the small fixed-wing aircraft, I was given a birds-eye view of the enigmatic island. With the door off the plane and battered by the cold and wind, the exhilaration I felt erased any discomfort. As we circumnavigated the island, I was well-aware that this was one of the most exciting and uplifting adventures of my life, and one that will stay imprinted on my memory forever.” Debra

Character Portraits

Character Portraits

“When I see horses, they are as individual to me as any human. Some express a kind of nobility, while others may be more pensive, playful, or gregarious. A horse’s eye is indeed a window to their soul, but there are so many other subtleties that come into play. Horses are known to have more facial expressions than primates and each has their own distinct personality as well as physical differences. The nuance of a horse’s profile, their ears, muzzle, and shape of neck, are just some of the features that help form their character portrait. It is my goal to capture that essence for you the viewer.” Debra

“When I see horses, they are as individual to me as any human. Some express a kind of nobility, while others may be more pensive, playful, or gregarious. A horse’s eye is indeed a window to their soul, but there are so many other subtleties that come into play. Horses are known to have more facial expressions than primates and each has their own distinct personality as well as physical differences. The nuance of a horse’s profile, their ears, muzzle, and shape of neck, are just some of the features that help form their character portrait. It is my goal to capture that essence for you the viewer.” Debra

“the photographer matches her subjects with a profound sympathy, which has yielded images of unusual power”

– Robert Amos, Victoria Times Colonist Art Critic

Sable Island Classic Series

Action And interaction

Full Collection Coming Soon

The Island Sanctuary

Full Collection Coming Soon

From Above & Beyond

Full Collection Coming Soon

Character Portraits

Full Collection Coming Soon