There is a new horse in town and this impressive bronze beast even has connections to Australian racing royalty.
Artist Tim Storrier – from the Southern Highlands – donated the sizeable sculpture called Equine Impedimenta (The Artist’s Mount) to the New England Regional Art Museum (NERAM) in Armidale earlier in the year and the steed is now happily ensconced at the gallery’s entry for all visitors to admire.
Mr Storrier said the Equine Impedimenta series followed the Impedimenta Series (a walking figure whose progress is impeded by the weight of a ludicrous amount of baggage).
“I started the process of looking for an older mount with a gentle demeanour, but I had no luck in my district as all the horses were equestrian poseurs,” said Mr Storrier.
“I then asked Gai Waterhouse if she could help. Immediately Gai introduced me to Tully, a 16-year-old gelding; an old grey horse she stabled with her volatile runners to keep them calm. It is an old practice, the calming effect of a grey horse on its flighty companions.
“Coincidentally after completing a group of works from this series, I was alerted to a small drawing by John Sell Cotman, probably completed between 1800 and 1830, of an alert, slightly mythical pony loaded with the equipment used by an artist: palette, easel, canvases, brushes and paper portfolio.”
Mr Storrier said the Equine Impedimenta bronzes resulted from numerous studies, drawings and paintings. Collaboration with master sculptor Liao Shengxiang then led to the production of an initial maquette followed by the large statue and finally a life size work that now takes centre stage at the
“Horses are beautiful creatures,” said Mr Storrier. “Their partnership with us is ancient and although not without coercion it has been a wonderfully productive relationship.”
NERAM director Rachael Parsons said Mr Storrier and his partner Janet were very generous and accommodating of the whole donation process and were happy that Tully had found a permanent home at NERAM.
“NERAM has an established connection with Philip Bacon and his gallery in Brisbane, who represents Tim Storrier,” she said.
“Philip has connected with and helped facilitate two artwork donations by Storrier to NERAM, the most recent being the wonderful sculpture The Artist’s Mount.”
“Tully arrived at the art museum on March 21 this year in a very large box. It was a very exciting and nerve-wracking experience moving the work from the truck he arrived on into the front forecourt at NERAM. He is very heavy and had to be moved with a crane, fortunately we were working with a very experienced and talented driver who made sure he was placed safely.”
Ms Parsons said the impressive artwork was a thrilling addition to the NERAM Collection and an excellent example of contemporary Australian art.
“There is also special significance of this work to an important organisation that supports the art museum, Packsaddle,” said Ms Parsons.
“Packsaddle is a group of mostly women, who for 38 years have been raising funds for NERAM through their annual exhibition.
“Their first exhibition was held in one of the founding members homes called Packsaddle and horses have been important to many of the members. So, this artwork has been adopted by them as a symbol of their work, story and members past and present.”
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