The Norwegian photographer Roger Svalsrød spent nine months producing the Heart Touching And Powerful Photograph collection named Shaken n´ Stirred. A unique artistic work that symbolizes the strong and beautiful relationship between horses and humans with different disabilities.
By Therese Alhaug. Photo Roger Svalsrød
With his powerful art exhibition, Svalsrød marked himself as an important contributor of recognizing equestrian therapy as an important area in the medical field.
Svalsrød is brave. After 25 years as a busy equestrian photographer, he needed to do something more meaningful. Where action and speed turned to silence and proximity.
“I wanted to expose taboo topics, and present the reality and importance of the relationship between horse and man in unfamiliar situations. I wanted to highlight the horse as an important therapist and a faithful friend. But most of all I wanted to add some ingredients that gave meaning to life.”
”Horses are incredibly forgiving. They fill in places we’re not capable of filling ourselves. They give people a new hope, a new lease on life”
The artwork led Svalsrød to a new state of mind:
“I saw a stronger bond than I had ever seen before. It touched me. Finally, I got an outlet for all the reflections I had made my way through my years as a photographer.”
The artwork ended with the picture collection “Shaken n’Stirred” and several critically acclaimed exhibitions at home and abroad. In 2010 Svalsrød received the prestigious award as a photographer of the third best equestrian picture in Aachen, Germany. But behind his success rested a search for deeper meaning.
“I wanted the government to see the value of the horse in preventive and curative therapy. We must all do a job. It is our responsibility as horse people to convey this.
Svalsrød has taken the pulse of something important. His images are focused on widely tabooed areas. The reality of everyday life for so many people.
His images reveal obesity, nudity, drug use, old age, anorexia, loneliness. Conditions or situations we all know. Svalsrød wanted to tear down walls and barriers in us. Physical and mental. With the horse in focus. In a society with increasing demands for external success and status, it feels good to be confronted with something that reflects a different reality. A true and beautiful reality.
“I’ve never been afraid to speak my mind. And I’ve seen what the horse does for these people. I really wanted to give something back. Besides: Horses are swelled honest. They react positively if you are positive, and vice versa. They read you. Their survival is conditional on how fast they can read possible threats. This makes them eminently mindful of and sensitive. They never judge. For people with a disability, the horse is like a mirror to the issues.”
ROGER SVALSRØD. NORWEGIAN PHOTOGRAPHER
The Norwegian photographer, Roger Svalsrod, has been an equestrian photographer for almost 30 years. With his powerful art exhibition , “Shaken n’Stirred” (2011), Svalsrød marked himself as an important contributor of recognizing equestrian therapy as an important area in the medical field.