Artist Creative Process
I’ve been a exhibiting artist for over 40 years with 11 solo shows and numerous group exhibitions in Australia during that time. I work predominantly in mixed media sculpture and painting, combining organic materials with repurposed man made objects. I’m renowned for my painted tapestries which involve painting on and weaving with canvas works to build the surface of my paintings into almost sculptural forms. My large sculptural works which I’ve developed over the last 20 years combine wharf timbers and other recycled wood with marine artefacts and machine elements. In 1999 I won the Mayors prize for ‘Sculpture by the Sea’ and in 2015 I won an award at the Byron Bay Writers Festival for my mixed media metal and copper covered timber sculpture.
The Concept: It feels like we are in a personal war on so many fronts. Environmentally (climate change), socially (financial survival), psychologically (mental survival) the ‘War Horse’ is a symbol of courage and exquisite beauty whilst also a symbol of the burden of being in servitude, as we are ourselves in this servitude of life. Traditionally the War Horse is used as a fighting tool, the symbols painted on the horse represent the numbers of battles fought and valour of the horse, its incredible loyal service to humanity. The chains represent the constraints and manipulations we encounter through the banality of our everyday lives. Life is a battle. Survival is mandatory, we are all constrained by our own chains, overpowered and often manipulated by others. The Intended Audience Reaction: The audience are going to experience the power of “War Horse” in all its fierceness and will find resonance with their own experience of fierceness and strength beneath constraint. Materials: It’s taken 15 years from when I first obtained this fibreglass mould of a horse to conceptualise, refine and find the right form for this artwork. I’ve combined the hand painted fibreglass with a myriad of repurposed metal elements including the belly of a hot water system, copper wire, chain, parts from machinery and common hand tools. Dimensions: 3 metres long x 1 metre wide and 2.2 metres tall. Weight unknown.
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Sculpture Photography: John Walters