Terry Fitch is the sort of gifted artist that visualizes a full range of beauty in almost all that surrounds her and from behind the lens of a camera there is little that escapes her itchy shutter finger. From the colorful patterns of a wild flower to the comical twist of the head on a Praying Mantis it is all worthy of being immortalized by Terry’s enduring passion to photograph.
But as of late Terry’s photographic fervor has turned towards the desperate plight of American wild horses and burros. No stranger to equine advocacy Terry and her husband, author R.T. Fitch, began rescuing horses while they lived on assignment down in Brazil during the late ‘90s. In fact, Terry made a promise to a little Mangalarga Marchador cart horse to bring him home with her and to this day “Apache” lives a life of leisure on Terry and R.T.’s Texas farm.
Terry’s cameras have been busy snapping pictures of rescued horses back when she was an officer for Habitat for Horses and instrumental in organizing the Equine Rescue relief for both Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. But it is the movement, grace and language of the wild horse that has pulled both Terry and her cameras to the deserts of the west to photograph the last of our swiftly vanishing wild horses and burros.
To photograph the wild equines in the wild is a compelling passion, for Terry, but over-riding that drive is the burning desire to be a visual voice for the horses who have been so cruelly captured and held as captives by the rogue Bureau of Land Management (BLM).
Terry has traveled to many of the deadly BLM helicopter stampedes to act as a witness for the horses and burros in hopes that her presence may make a difference in how the traumatized equids are handled. Likewise, the images of the unnecessary cruelty are something that all Americans should see and become aware of; such majesty and beauty thrown into metal cages at a tremendous expense, not only to the horses and burros, but also to the American tax payer.
Terry’s work speaks to the soul of the viewer as the horses project their thoughts and emotion through the lens of her camera and directly into the heart of all who view her work. Once there was a time that Terry’s images were used to compliment the equine literary work of her husband but as her craft has matured the tables have turned and now it is he who puts words to her work in an effort to extol the drama, passion and quest for freedom harbored within the heart of every American wild horse. Terry captures the icy reality of their current plight with absolute clarity and focus.
So while photographs of wild horses running free in their natural environment captures the souls of all who view, Terry is currently concentrating on the end result of our Federal government’s agenda of removing all wild equids from public land.
“It pains me beyond all possible description to view our majestic, national icons held in concentration camp type surroundings, “ says Fitch, “but the American public needs to know and see the truth behind one of the biggest crimes being committed right before our very public eyes.”
Terry, along with her husband R.T., recently retained the services of several of the best animal advocacy attorneys in the U.S. in an effort to stop the BLM’s flagrant violation of federal law. At risk of losing their personal fiscal viability the Fitch’s, along with their newly organized Wild Horse Freedom Federation (WHFF), have launched a fully researched and calculated legal attack against the BLM’s ignorance and abject violation of laws set in place to protect our wild horses and burros.
Once a creative endeavor, Terry’s photography has taken on a documentary and legal evidential theme.
“It’s a scary proposition laying your entire life’s savings on the line for litigation against the federal government but both R.T. and I can go to sleep at night knowing that we are doing what is the best for the wild ones,” confides Fitch, “That in its own right gives us peace.”
The beauty of the horses running free and the squandering of said beauty makes up the crux of Terry Fitch’s portfolio and it is her most sincere wish that the paradox that is displayed speaks volumes to the hearts and souls of every free spirited human being that views her work.