Art of Racing: Enjoy Newmarket's Saddle Up art trail
Portraits of people are my usual subject matter, so taking part in the Saddle Up project has been a nice change for me. I produced a painting for the trail. It’s an oil on canvas of a horse’s head and children’s hands.
As well as a horse being a serviceable animal it is also a man’s companion. Through my painting I hope to evoke the love, loyalty and companionship we can share with these beautiful creatures, as well as touch upon their healing and spiritual qualities.
The art trail will bring with it community spirit, further awareness of local artists and will most definitely make art fun.
As well as a job, art is the one thing in my life that keeps me sane! I have had a passion for it since I was a child when I used to complete colouring books and sketches. I find myself at peace when I am working.
I studied Fine Art at Norwich University of the Arts in 2010 where I obtained a First-Class degree. I then went straight into exhibiting paintings in cafes and shops and from that I was approached by galleries inviting me to exhibit my work.
I like to think my style has a free, modern approach to it with bold colour and adapts when needed.
As you grow your work grows with you, that’s the beauty of it. When I was younger, I enjoyed painting on a small scale as I liked the intimacy a small canvas could bring. On reflection, I think I was scared at the prospect of a large canvas. I now paint on small and large scale; the largest work I have done was on a 30ft wall.
Now I’m a mummy my work pattern has changed dramatically – it seems a 2 year old can keep you very busy! I have scheduled days to work but my studio is at home so if I have a ‘lightbulb’ moment, be it at 5am or 10pm, I can easily retreat to my studio.
I live and work in Newmarket, which I love. I am close to family and friends for a coffee break and enjoy nothing more than a long dog walk across the heath – both of which provide great starting points for new ideas. But, although I love home, travel has been a key theme throughout my portfolio. Distance and change have always been inspirational factors for me and have led me to produce some of my best work.
Exhibiting at the Grand Palais in Paris was a big turning point for me as an artist. I was honoured to be asked to exhibit there. Seeing people queue up to enter the exhibition was very humbling and something I won’t ever forget.
The best part of producing a painting is the reactions people have to it. If it creates happiness and joy, intrigue and even laughter, that’s what makes my job so special.
What is the Animal Health Trust?
Based in Kentford, just outside of Newmarket, the Animal Health Trust was established in 1942 by Dr Reginald Wooldridge with the aim of advancing veterinary medicine. It is an independent charity, employing some 250 scientists, vets and support workers. For more than 75 years the AHT has been fighting disease and injuries in animals, with the aim to improve the health and welfare of horses, dogs and cats through world-class research.
For more information visit aht.org.uk
What is the Saddle Up art trail?
The trail is a free, fun art event taking place in Newmarket from now until Sunday, September 22. Local and national artists were asked to create a piece of art that illustrated the theme of the trail – ‘What do horses mean to you?’
There are 17 creations to admire, of varying shapes and sizes, in different locations across the town. Trail maps are available from Tindalls and Palace House or can be downloaded at aht.org.uk/saddleup.
At each piece of art you will notice a letter. Collect all the letters,decipher them to reveal a phrase then send it along with your details to Animal Health Trust, Lanwades Park, Kentford, Newmarket, Suffolk CB8 7UU to be entered into a prize draw.
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More by this authorAlice Ryan