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Maria Marriott's 'Desert Grays' Receives Award at 18th Black & White Spider Awards, Bringing Attention to Wild Mustangs

Desert Grays. Two wild stallions of the Great Basin Desert of Utah.

Two gray stallions of the Great Basin Desert of Utah size each other up, a normal ritual before what can turn into a serious battle to establish dominance.

Wild horse photographer, Maria Marriott, photographing wild mustangs.

Wild horse photographer, Maria Marriott, photographing a herd of wild mustangs.

Photographer Maria Marriott travels the Western states photographing America's wild horses, using her art to draw attention to their beauty and conservation.

Art is the most effective way of bringing attention to a cause. A single image of a wild stallion, for example, can simultaneously tell a story, inform, challenge, and change minds in a powerful way.”
— Maria Marriott, Wild Horse Photographer
ROSEVILLE, CA, UNITED STATES, December 3, 2023 / -- Photographer Maria Marriott, who has spent the last several years tracking and photographing America’s wild mustangs, has added another award to her growing list of recognitions.

Desert Grays" captures an intense interaction between two gray mustangs in the Great Basin Desert of Utah. The pre-fight ritual in which these wild horses are engaged begins when two stallions size each other up prior to beginning a battle over a mare or territory.

This arresting image has been awarded an Honorable Mention at the prestigious Black & White Spider Awards, bolstering Marriott’s reputation as a visual storyteller. In her images of the American mustangs, Marriott seeks to present both the beauty and hardships of these iconic creatures, always through an artistic lens.

Speaking of the motivation behind her photographic art, she says, “To me, art is the most effective way of bringing attention to a cause. A single image of a beautiful wild stallion, for example, can simultaneously tell a story, inform, challenge, and change minds in a powerful way. Presenting a hard reality in an artistic way can infuse emotion into a story, making it relatable. That’s what I attempt to do in each of my images and wild horse art series.”

Marriott began honing her craft as a photojournalist in Rio de Janeiro. But her artistic vision began to crystallize when she found a way to combine her dual passions for horses and photography. She believes that through intimate and minimal compositions, she can tell visual stories of the beauty and mystery of the wild. These emotional images give viewers a window into a world that most have not experienced. And they become metaphors for the qualities that most Americans hold dear - freedom, resilience, grit and perseverance.

“Desert Grays”, one of the most popular images from Marriott’s “Onaqui” series, was also an award winner in the International Photography Awards. Reflecting on these awards, Marriott says, “It is truly an honor when one of my images receives this type of recognition because it validates what I am trying to achieve as a photographer. But, more importantly, when my images receive recognition, it brings wider attention to the need for a sustainable solution for the wild horses to retain their freedom. Hopefully, my images provoke deeper thought and stimulate discussion.”

Maria Marriott's growing body of work, both wild horse art and equine portraits, has previously been recognized internationally at the Prix De La Photography Paris and the Tokyo International Foto Awards. Her work has been showcased in various publications, including Cowboys & Indians, Calling All Horse Girls, 65 Degrees Carmel By The Sea, and several other equestrian magazines in the U.S. and Australia.

Marriott’s hope is “to stir in others the same sense of wonder and respect for these magnificent creatures that I feel when photographing them in the wild, and a deeper appreciation for the beautiful creation all around us.” Further, she hopes that her “work will help others feel a strong emotional connection to the American mustangs and the importance they have played in our nation’s history. Ultimately, this is what will help the most in efforts to preserve their freedom.”

For more information about Maria Marriott and her award-winning 'Desert Grays' image, please visit her site using the contact details below.

About Maria Marriott

Maria Marriott is an award-winning equine photographer known for several wild horse photography series. Her work following and photographing wild mustangs across the Western states has allowed her a platform to bring attention to the pressing issues faced by the American wild horses. She works with several nonprofit organizations committed to the preservation and safety of mustangs and equine therapy.

Maria Marriott
Maria Marriott Photography
+1 916-606-0349
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