‘The figures of the horse, the stag, the swan and the hare constantly come and go: figures which pass freely from one level of existence to another, which represent the incarnation of the soul…’ Joseph Beuys
The ancient relationship between horse, man and the natural world is a recurrent theme in my work. Yet the horse has always been dominated. A domination which is never ending. The horse here is an image of late antiquity, the glories of the Eastern Empire and high byzantine art.
War Horse was inspired by a Venetian trip and the magnificent bronze quadriga statues of St Marks Cathedral. The horses were transported from Constantinople to Venice in 1204 following the rampaging of the city at the hands of the Crusaders supported by Doge Enrico Dandolo. These sculptures draw on the strength and beauty of such sublime animals which I am attempting to capture within the painted image contrasting with the ravages of waging war.