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Horse Relief

Terracotta with Bronze patina
Unique Work 1/1
Dam de Nogales

Words Behind the Work

A thought -- A motion -- A spirit which impels all thinking things, all beings of all thought.

Here a passion, a fire reignited

The Horse-- the unfettered spirit;  the hands, a rope -- a tempering of soul
In all of us the need to master a thing, in all of us the need to be mastered.
Freedom -- a fight-- a lingering desire deep within our imagination, within imagined limits.

Create it.  It is.  Where it begins.  Where it ends.

On Process

In essence, the work was derived from an original fragment of a monumental bronze work we created for the Lay Sculpture Park of Louisiana, MO, USA entitled "The Wandering Brute".  This broken fragment, the horse's head, buried under wet rags and plastic, lay dormant for seven months, undecided whether it was to be preserved in its former state, or to be destined for something greater.  But the impetus behind this work was of a far more personal nature.  Its fate was decided by a trip to Spain in the second month of 2002.  Here and then was a re-encountering with moments of a distant past not forgotten, a trod through the firelds, forests and mountains on horseback. 

Once returned to Canada, the desire to again be companion wih a horse became motive for the work.  Frames were cut from an old post beam factory recently torn down in Chatham, Ontario;  a routered edge on the inside would fit the plywood backing; a custom easel was constructed to support its would-be weight, and block by block, the clay was sliced and kneaded into place.  Gently the head, now unraveled from its damp rags, was placed into its wed bed of clay.  Over the next months, a thick neck, typical of Andalusian horses from the south of Spain grew around it;  wild hooves found flight.  The work was one which would lift its force from the earth.  To heighten its strength and hold it down, heavy fingered hands, white knuckled in their grasp were required.  Fingers sculpted fingers.  The work was left to dry.

Six weeks later; the work was ready for firing.  Partitioned into eight panels, the work would fit the kilns.  An intensity of heat, and the remounting.  Panel by panel, the work was reunited.  Epoxies and resins bound them to the board and to eachother.  Then the six-layer patina, coat by coat, hue by hue was layered on.  Polished the work was still unfinished. 

The rope was a search; a warm metal weave, conductive in its very nature was needed.  We searched, discussed braiding our own but the cable of choice found us.  A neighbour woman who collected and sold metals for supplemental income to feed her cats sat on her front lawn.  Two other neighbours had stopped to help her as she struggled to strip the black rubber skin off coils and coils of old welding cable.  We went over, offered to help, then purchased a section of it.  Cut, knotted, ends welded, we fused it into place.  New pine to cover the old factory support frame.  It is done

--Sculptors Edwin and Veronica Dam de Nogales own three horses, one of which comes for regular visits  and modelling sessions in the studio.  The horses are visible in the distance from the expansive window wall of their studio in Canada.