Tim Flach- Equus

Tim Flach- Equus

Tim Flach’s photographs studying man’s influence on the horse are currently on exhibition at “Fine Form: the Horse in Art”, Cheltenham Art Gallery and at an ongoing exhibition at the Eight Club, EC3 in conjunction with
m{us}e@EIGHT .

Flach spent over two years studying and tracking horses across the globe. His work considers both the wild and genetically engineered-photographing zebra and wild mustang, through to prize stud horses. Flach gaining access to the endurance stables of Arab race horses as well as the Marwari horses of India, banned from export due their rarity.

Flach references the British tradition of horse painting, such as the image of the Arab stallion JJ Ballerina, that nods to Stubb’s Whistlejacket in its expression of the horse and the colour values.

The relationship between the horse and the environment is also considered. Flach looks at the link between the cultural significance of the horse in its landscape – the subject often echoes the form of the country (Icelandic ponies, Haflingers) or is camouflaged by it such as in the images of the Orlov trotter. Taking this further the form of the horse becomes the landscape in the images of lusitanos, and in the studies of the mottled coat of an appaloosa you could be looking at a lunar aerial shot.

With such an aesthetic subject, it is possible to read these images purely on this level. However, in conversation, Flach has said that horses were the subject he chose to describe who we were, using photography as the means to deliver evidence not with the purpose of achieving an aesthetic. The photos are notable for the absence of man but man is central to all these images. This is apparent in the images of the horses armoured for war, masked for gas attack, in recuperation, racing, to the interembryo photos showing the development of a surrogate race horse.

Study of the breed information shows how the development of the horse is dependent upon and has been manipulated, and subsequently endangered by man through the ages- for example many breeds shown have teetered on the edge of extinction as their role became defunct. Flach has gone on to study similar concerns with dogs and in his latest work on the rainforest.

With the artist`s intention, these remain compelling, beautiful images.

Tim Flach’s Equus can be seen at:

Equus (m{us}e@EIGHT, London, by appointment) until 13 May 2011 (http://www.eightclub.co.uk/)

Fine Form: the Horse in Art (Cheltenham),  12 March – 30 April 2011

Les Chevaux du Monde International Festival (Compiègne, France), 7 April – 17 April 2011

For further details see http://www.timflach.com/

Photographs credited to Tim Flach