Harrie’s horse in Sculpture by the Sea
Sculpture by the Sea: Horse from Oberon enjoying Sydney showcase
A two-headed, three metre high, metal rocking horse has scored some prime Sydney real estate, taking in a majestic view across the Pacific Ocean.
Which Way Forward is Oberon sculptor Harrie Fasher’s most ambitious work to date, a 700 kilogram work currently featuring in this year’s Sculpture by the Sea.
The sculpture is made in Fasher’s signature style of three dimensional metal line drawings, constructed from steel rod.
“It’s an entertaining look at the way we engage with life in contemporary society,” Ms Fasher said. “One side depicts the horse; elegant, powerful and controlled, whilst its opposing side is captured mid gallop.” The work asks: Is it best to attack life full throttle, or with control and precision? Can we maintain one of these attitudes, or do we oscillate between them as we navigate the complexities of modern life?
Working across the disciplines of sculpture, drawing and installation, Fasher’s art utilises the equine form as a metaphor for human struggles; exploring the horse and its relationship to humans on a physical, historical and mythological level.
Alan Wilding at Metaland Bathurst works with large bits of steel every day – for sheds, yards and commercial buildings – but this is the first time he’s helped make a giant metal horse come to life, supplying the steel and then transporting the work to Bondi.
“Alan jumped at the opportunity to sponsor my entry to the internationally acclaimed event, and has been integral to all facets of landing the work at this year’s exhibition. Together we are building an elegant sculptural form, that provokes thought and humour,” Harrie Fasher said.
“We had the base of the rocker rolled for Harrie and supplied large bits of steel. This is the first time I’ve helped make a giant metal horse come to life,” Mr Wilding said.
Alan said when I picked it up ‘that’s the hard part done’. As you can imagine, I laughed and wished that to be the case,” Fasher said.
Fasher’s sculptures embody a weightless power, alongside the physical scale and strength of the horse. She recently completed a large commission of horse sculptures for the National Museum of Australia’s ‘Spirited: Australia’s Horse Story’ (on now through to 9 March 2015) – but Which Way Forward absolutely towers over those life-sized horses.
“It’s a giant. The rocker filled the studio workspace,” Fasher said. “Transporting work is always a challenge, this is more so as it is the biggest sculpture I have made. Alan offered his services for the job which is another indication of the enthusiasm to see the project through to its conclusion.”
Fasher’s team on Which Way Forward also includes her studio assistant Nicole O’Regan, a local woman and steel fabricator who came on board after taking part in the women’s welding workshops Harrie runs, and Heather Salmon, Harrie’s studio apprentice. Neighbour Geoff Salmon helped construct the concrete support for a test installation at the studio.
Harrie Fasher graduated with honours from the National Art School, Sydney in 2010. During her studies she was awarded the 2009 Julian Beaumont Sculpture Prize and the Bird Holcomb Foundation Scholarship in 2010.
Represented by Maunsell Wickes Gallery in Sydney, Ms Fasher has also participated in national and international residencies, including the Baer Art Centre Residency in Iceland in 2012 and Bathurst Regional Art Gallery’s Hill End Residency in 2013.
In 2013, Harrie travelled to the United Kingdom to exhibit with Arts OutWest (through our Prepare to Exchange/ Australian Pavilion project) and to undertake an artist in residency at the Butley Mills Bronze Foundry.
The 18th annual Sculpture by the Sea exhibition runs until 9 November along the Bondi to Tamarama coastal walk. Harrie Fasher is one of 109 exhibiting artists, including 33 international artists, in the 2014 exhibition.