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Buttercup

Buttercup

Pencil on paper

Courtesy the Artist

This imposing drawing is one in a series of portraits of animals from a local sanctuary. Robert Davies is working to the scale and grandeur of the traditional British equestrian portraits; his decision to represent cattle in this way questions our unequal responses to different types of animals, such as those used in food production.

'Buttercup' mirrors the collection of portraits of the 5th Lord Berwick's prize-winning Hereford cattle in this room. The 8th Lady Berwick was similarly proud of her cattle, individually naming some of her cows Matisse, Gauguin and Picasso.

Robert Davies

Robert Davies is a photographer and artist who has created a series of farm animal and racehorse drawings, inviting us to consider the different ways that humans regard the animals that they keep and utilise.

Racehorses are held in high esteem and often given human characteristics when they are described - strong, brave, spirited, intelligent. The animals of food production are measured by their productivity (conversion) and treated in a way that reflects this. The farm animals Davies has drawn now live at the Farm Animal Sanctuary, in Worcestershire.

Davies' intention with this work is to reinterpret our relationship to these animals through the equal representation of the animals, disregarding the status differences of their usual roles.

Robert Davies' recent solo exhibitions include 'Animals' at Wolverhampton Museum and Art Gallery in 2011, 'Drawings', Hilary Crisp Gallery, London in 2010 and 'Year', FAS, London and 'Sleepwalking', Galerie Renate Bender, Munich, both in 2008. He has also exhibited in group exhibitions extensively throughout Europe.