Robert Davies at Acton Scott
3 April - 15 July 2012
In addition to the Robert Davies works exhibited in the House of Beasts exhibition at National Trust's Attingham Park near Shrewsbury until 15th July 2012, Meadow Arts is working in partnership with Acton Scott Historic Working Farm to exhibit a series of Robert Davies Animal Drawings.
The drawings are meticulously detailed and demonstrate Davies' great passion for reminding us of how we treat animals generally and the way that we distinguish between the practical and the sentimental value of the animals that surround us every day.
"This project is about our different perceptions and representations of the animals we encounter, personally, culturally and as food. The drawings render two different types of animals, racehorses and farm animals. The first are famous and are held in high esteem by the race going public and are often described in human terms and given characteristics to define them. The second are the animals of food production and are invisible as individual beasts.
My intention with this work is to reinterpret our relationship to these animals through representation. The inequalities we experience in our dealing with animals seems quite arbitrary, or at least based around their value to us. Our estimation and care of them is based around their uniqueness - and this can be their rare talent, their threat of extinction or how attractive they are.
The animals of food production in this series were originally used on farms. Each one was discarded, sold or lost due to ill health, poor productivity (conversion) or bad weather. They were all found or bought at market, treated with appropriate medicines and nurtured back to rude health by Janet Taylor of the Farm Animal Sanctuary, in Middle Littleton, Worcestershire. The racehorses are all famous for being champions of their sport.
All the species are drawn in the traditional style of racehorse portraiture, shown side on, in profile, to what might be considered their best advantage. The scale is crucial, it compels the viewer to invest in the subject like they might in a classical horse portrait by Stubbs in the 18th Century. Each hair is identified, each subtle variation in skin observed, each ripple of muscular definition shaped to accentuate the similarities between these magnificent animals."
Robert Davies 2010
For a PDF of Robert Davies' full interpretation of this work, please follow this link.
You can visit the artist's own website at www.robertdavies.uk.com
Image above: Curly by Robert Davies
Acton Scott Historic Working Farm