Tuesday, October 4, 2011

All the Wild Horses

Back in my undergraduate days, I tried to be a bit of a sculptor.  I wasn't very good.  I had decent ideas, but inadequate amounts of patience when it came to the actual execution.   The project I most regret-  for one of my Sculpture classes I wanted to compose a figure out of tree roots.  They were building a new mall or something on the outskirts of Murfreesboro, and had knocked down a huge tree, I think it had to be a rather old oak.  The root system was exposed and vast, and I went and gathered what I could and dumped them in the garage/studio of the house I was renting at the time.  I had plenty of time to work on this piece, but unsure how to proceed, I spent the greater part of two weeks just staring at the pile of tangled wood.

I was reminded of this epic fail when I walked into a Deborah Butterfield exhibition in Chelsea while on vacation.  Her horses are made of branches and limbs cast in bronze, ranging in size from a table top pygmy to a draft size that would measure more than eighteen hands, surely.   The branches she chose suggest perfectly solid withers, strong necks, and expressive heads.   Each had a presence, beyond just the physical, the largest one harking back to the Trojan Horse in it's stature.  Having just visited Innisfree Farm the previous week, the forms automatically made me miss the smell and the warmth of hugging those strong necks and burying my face in a tangly mane.  I enjoy it when art imitates life so poetically.

1 comment:

Lake District said...

What a great piece of objective writing and there are some wonderful art galleries in Chelsea. I live within the Lake District National Park here in England and there are also some great niche art galleries to visit.