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BAY

Oil on linen, 100 x 200cm 2000 ©Kay Hare provenance South of France 

The largest in a series of work titled ‘The horse in art’. I wanted to create a series of work looking at the horse but not in the traditional horse portrait style. At the time, artists such as Prunella Clough (1919-1999) were a big influence, and I particularly resonated with Cy Twombly (1928-2011). Art is not supposed to be good; it an is meant to make you feel something.

 Most of the horse paintings I viewed were not inspiring. I pushed the image of the horse to incorporate my feelings towards the horse. I use to love riding horses as well as grooming, and the preparation before riding was an intimate and rewarding experience. Usually, the horse is brought from the field, and the immediate task is to brush off the mud accumulated from lots of rolling and playing. There is a deep trust that evolves with any animal, but the horse, in particular, has a connection with a man that demands respect. The horse has served us through wars, celebrations, and for our leisure. It is a powerful creature, yet so humble.

“The grooming is silent. The horse is trusting. Dependent on its owner to perform the task gently. With as much care and attention as a mother would with her newborn. I loved this process. It created a bond, each time the horse was brushed, the familiarity became a joyful experience entwined with a magical language. I wanted to capture this language, this feeling on the canvas. I brought grooming combs and brushes into the studio and used them instead of artists’ brushes.

The back of the horse is the most sensitive part of the horse. Most people have seen the reaction when a fly lands on a horse. The spinal column connects and collects all the nerve endings. This is also where the saddle is placed, a delicate yet strong area of the horse’s body. The outline of the horses back is long and has similar chakra points to that of a human. It is a soothing area to groom for the horse and the groom. ‘Bay’ is 100 x 150cm similar size as the horse. The painting has the same emotions in the paint; whilst painting, I interacted with the canvas as if it was the horse. I painted on linen as it was the closest material to the horse’s skin in colour and texture. This painting is in a private collection in the South of France.

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