Free

£325.00 On Sale

Mixed medium on original ledger sheet, dated 5th Feb 1880
Size: 27cm x 41cm
Year: 2020 ( 28th April)

Horses for me are a symbol of power, aigility, strength and beauty. I have always been drawn to horses and love to watch the grace in how they move. I also think of how these animals were the main form of transport generations before , and how the horse was the main mode used to get about and travel.
I was struck by 18th century paintings that I had seen in museums over the years of predominantly white aristocratic men riding a horse, usually a thoroughbred. I never saw black men on horses in any European paintings. This made me think of the ruling class of the time and the role of a black person in 17th and 18th century England.
Free is a depiction of a free man riding his horse freely. He a a freeman, free of the shackles bestowed to him by a brutal regime that was slavery. Added to the date of the ledger sheet 1880, where slavery had been abolished in the U.K. it was still actively practiced within the southern states of the USA; therefore if the slave could have been a free man after all?