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To Cope With Her Mother's Illness, Photographer Focuses On Aging Animals

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When Isa Leshko found out her mother had Alzheimer's, she made a decision not to photograph her. But after a year, Leshko wanted to process her emotions in the way she knows best: through photographs.

"I encountered a blind elderly horse that was living on a relative's property," Leshko explains in a statement. "I was mesmerized by this animal and spent the afternoon photographing him. ... I realized I had found a project that would enable me to sift through my feelings around my mother's illness."

Leshko has since been traveling to farms and sanctuaries around the country for what is now a series, Elderly Animals. Her mission, she explains, is to look mortality directly in the face.

"I also want my images to inspire greater empathy toward animals, particularly farm animals," she writes. "It is rare to see a farm animal that has actually lived its natural life span, given that most of these animals experience brutality and death early in their lives."

More: Walley Films, a husband-and-wife duo based in Texas, produced this video about Leshko and her project:



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