In search of the present…..

A three week project, the brief to produce something on  subject chosen by me considering current events, personal observations, contemporary society and investigate ways to communicate my own thoughts and ideas.  The paragraph written for the 9 day exercise or Christmas to be used as a reference starting point.

Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do so started with a little bit of a mind dump and highlighted comments made by artists that featured in British Art Show 6, about their work and the message they were trying to convey. I then started looking at things that mattered to me and what resonates with me at the moment.

I have a lot of horse reference photographs from workshops I’ve been on and researching horses in mythology, I though a modern take on the 4 horsemen of the apocalypse, or pegasus versus unicorn and the significance of kelpie etc.  Discussing my rather scattered thought processes with a tutor she mentioned the ethics of the racing industry and how many horses die a year.  After a lengthy discussion, it still wasn’t the story I wanted to tell.

Just as many horses are killed a year on British roads.

This is the story I want to tell, the impact on the horse owner, like me and my 9yr old son.  The loss and huge void left when these amazing animals we care for every day, are taken from us tragically and suddenly.

Horses are flight animals by nature and can on occasion jump at their own shadows, without the added risk of cars passing too close, too fast, splashing in that puddle or a drivers momentary distraction.  I would love to not be leading my child’s pony, or riding on the roads these days as they are certainly busier, however a lot of areas don’t have many bridleways and if we do they are not always accessible without traversing busy roads.

Statistics from the British Horse Society, British Horseracing Association, and Horsedeathwatch (Animal Aid)

12 month period 2019-2020

  • 104 horses died on UK roads
  • 130 racehorse deaths
  • 12% of horse fatalities result in death/life changing injures to the rider
  • 1037 incidents reported
    • 40% vehicle passed too quickly
    • 81% passed to close
    • 43% of riders experienced abuse/road rage

In the decade 2010-2020

  • 44 people (riders/carriage drivers/handlers) died on UK roads
  • 2 jockeys died on racetrack

How can I convey this in my art?  How will the emotions touch the observer?  At this point I’m still thinking sculpture.

Collecting cobwebs

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