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What strikes you as beautiful?
 

“My heart thunders like the hooves of a thousand wild horses.”

― Leylah Attar

Unbridled: Art of the Horse
October 14 - November 3
Splash 

photograph on canvas 36" x 18"
(other formats available on request)
Sandy Sharkey
 



Our current show, "Unbridled: Art of the Horse" follows on a suggestion by photographer and wild horse advocate Sandy Sharkey. Her interest in wild horses began when, as a young woman on a camping trip in the west, she encountered the amazing drumming sound of a band of wild horses running near the campground. Catching sight of them moved her deeply, and affected the trajectory of the rest of her life.
 
IN THIS ISSUE 

Sandy Sharkey - Wild Horse Photography

Carlos de Castro - Dream Horses

Colette Beardall - Horses in Three Dimensions

Clara Kim - Horses in Light

Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away

Please Support the Lives of Horses in the Wild
 

“ The sheer beauty of wild horses takes my breath away.  Powerful stallions with rock star manes, inquisitive mares and fuzzy foals soon became my favourite beings to photograph. ”

―Sandy Sharkey
 

Sandy Sharkey - Wild Horse Photography
Sandy Sharkey in the Wild

We had seen Sandy Sharkey's marvelous work and were flattered when she got in touch with us early last Spring with an idea of having an exhibit at Electric Street Gallery. We put our heads together and came up with a title and a concept, and have been working toward the show opening today.

Well-known as a local morning radio personality, Sandy's driving passion has been her extraordinary spiritual connection to wild horses, which she explores and revisits through her photography. Given that her subjects aren't consciously posing for her (though they do sometimes make eye contact!) her extensive experience feeds into her capacity for creating technically excellent photos under the most demanding of conditions.

Snow Roan
photograph on canvas 24" x 16"
(other formats available on request)

 


But the technical excellence isn't the point. The glimpses into the lives of these magnificent creatures is the point. Sandy writes:

"I soon realized that my photographs could tell an important story.  Right now in North America, wild horses everywhere are under siege (with the exception of Canada’s Sable Island).  ...

"I have traveled over 14,000 miles by road to photograph wild horses throughout North America, and photographed the rare wild horses of Mongolia and New Zealand.  Through public speaking engagements and the creation of the ‘Find Wild Horses, Find Yourself’ campaign, I do what I can to raise awareness about the issues facing wild horses.  My goal is to capture the beauty and unbridled freedom of the wild horse, and to encourage others to find the ‘wild horse experience’ for themselves."

Some artists' depth is obscure, even mysterious. The motivation behind Sandy's work is simple and vibrant and pure. We're honoured to be able to share her extraordinary and important vision with you.
 
In the Water
photograph on canvas 18" x 12"
The Wild Palomino
photograph on canvas; 24"x36"
Close Up 
photograph on canvas; 24"x36"
 
(other formats available on request)
 

“If I paint a wild horse, you might not see the horse...
but surely you will see the wildness!”

― Picasso

Carlos de Castro - Horses in Dreams
Horses on Yellow
acrylic on canvas 14" x 11"

Carlos de Castro, trained as an economist at the University of Madrid, has been attached to the diplomatic service of Spain since 1981. He has been posted in the USA, Italy, France, Trinidad & Tobago, and the Dominican Republic prior to his current posting in Ottawa.

Through all those years he has been working as a painter, in a unique, expressionist style, creating dreamlike images with strong compositions and exceptional colour palettes. A few of his whimsical compositions can be seen on his Flickr collection.

The Spanish Embassy being nearby the gallery, Carlos dropped by to encourage us to exhibit some of his recent work done here in Ottawa. We saw that the horse and rider were a common theme in his figuratively and literally fantastic (filled with fantasy) compositions.  When we informed him of this exhibit, and suggested that our immediate interest was more in caballo than caballero, he kindly agreed to produce a few pieces on the theme of free, unbridled horses, some of which remind us of wildly colourful versions of primitive cave drawings. We're excited to include his work in the exhibit, and hope you enjoy them as much as we do.

"Carlos offers us a series of paintings that invite us to build fables, stories or dramatic comedies around unusual characters, be they horses or humans, reacting to their spaces which pulsing with strong lines and brilliant colours." 
- Marianne de Tolentino, Director, National Gallery of Santo Domingo

Horses in the Cane Field
acrylic on canvas 14" x 11"

Two Horses at Sunset
acrylic on canvas 14" x 11"

Three Horses
acrylic on canvas 11" x 14"


 

“Blame it or praise it, there is no denying the wild horse in us. To gallop intemperately; fall on the sand tired out; to feel the earth spin; to have - positively - a rush of friendship for stones and grasses, as if humanity were over, and as for men and women, let them go hang - there is no getting over the fact that this desire seizes us pretty often.”

― Virginia Woolf 

Colette Beardall - Horses in Three Dimensions

Colette Beardall has worked in the film industry, the retail sector, and as a legal secretary. When she stopped working to raise her children, she appreciated her good fortune but needed a creative outlet. She did "every kind of craft and art medium" before finding clay, and her artistic calling.  She has been a clay artist and ceramics instructor for almost 30 years, but now has stopped teaching to devote her energy to working on her own voice and legacy.   

"In my work as a clay artist my subject matter has changed from enjoying rendering domestic creatures to feeling I have a voice to bring attention to the present condition of climate change and the effect this has on myriad species. The loss of species due to human culling for the benefit of fashion, ridiculous medical fairy tales and habitat annihilation, my work now focuses on highlighting these animals’ plight."

Colette has contributed a number of fascinating raku firings representing horses of various sorts and in various aspects. Her works, whether sculptures or decorative vases and bowls, often incorporate the hair of her own horse as design elements!

Decorative Horsehair Bottle
raku ceramic  4.5" x 7"
 
Dark Horse
raku ceramic 10" x 10" x 7"
Przewalski's Horse
raku ceramic 13" x 9" x 8"
Decorative Horsehair Platter
raku ceramic 11" x 3"
Rascal
raku ceramic 11" x 8" x 5"

 

“They saw wild horses racing on the plain, pounding their shadows down the night and leaving in the moonlight a vaporous dust like the palest stain of their passing.”

― Cormac McCarthy

Clara Kim - Horses in Light

We've said a great deal about Clara Kim in a previous newsletter. Her bright, vibrant work combines modern, western techniques with a traditional far eastern compositional eye, to absolutely marvelous and unique effect. 

We're very pleased to have Clara as a continuing exhibitor at the gallery. As always, we commend her sensitive and beautiful smaller florals to the discerning art enthusiast, but that said, Clara's metier is in very large and strong images. So we're thrilled that we have two large wild running horses and one VERY large one in the show! 

Power
acrylic on canvas 30" x 60"

Wild Horses Couldn't Drag Me Away
It's great when one of our shows has an obvious theme song (even if its sense is a bit askew from the exhibit). You're probably familiar with the original Rolling Stones version of "Wild Horses" but have a listen to this amazing bluegrass cover by Old and In The Way.

Of course, the gallery has a (somewhat inappropriate) theme song as well!

We'd also like to sneak in a mention that the wild horse show has a contribution each from five other familiar artists at the gallery: Bilgin Buberoglu, Chris Kingsley, Ron Kok, Elizabeth Mitchell, and Susan Reiter. Over sixty horse-themed works by nine artists, and not a bridle or harness or saddle anywhere to be seen in the whole exhibit!


With flowing tail and flying mane,
Wide nostrils never stretched by pain,
Mouth bloodless to bit or rein,
And feet that iron never shod,
And flanks unscar'd by spur or rod,
A thousand horses - the wild - the free -
Like waves that follow o'er the sea,
Came thickly thundering on.

― Byron

Please Support the Lives of Horses in the Wild

On a crowded world, there's constant pressure to reduce the range and freedom of the remaining wild horse populations. These beautiful, loving, energetic creatures speak to our souls, and every remaining band is a treasure.

But, in North America, government roundups by helicopter remove thousands of wild horses from the only home they’ve ever known:  the mountains, the desert, the forest. Once-spirited wild horses are separated from their families and stockpiled into holding facilities with a very grim future.

Here's a story from Sandy's blog to elaborate on this.

The wild horses of Cold Creek Nevada were removed by the BLM in May of 2018. In a strange twist of fate, I was on my 14,000 mile ‘wild horse road trip’ and in Cold Creek photographing the wild horses- when the roundup was announced within hours. The wild horses were removed the next day. Two years later, I returned to the area, maybe for sentimental reasons - I’m not sure. I didn’t expect to see any wild horses. 

But there he was, on a ridge above Cold Creek, a gorgeous wild stallion - and he had a mare nearby, and she was with foal. The snow had just started to fall gently. I shed some tears when I saw this boy, his mare and the promise of a new bundle of joy. Much respect to these free spirits, who fill us with hope and inspire us to fight for their right to remain wild and free.

If this show moves you, we encourage you to help keep these magnificent creatures roaming our world. 

For information on participating in wild horse protection, please investigate

www.wildhorseeducation.org 
www.americanwildhorsecampaign.org

www.wildbeautyfoundation.org
https://www.facebook.com/Help-Alberta-Wildies-Society-100129074910395


or drop us a line via our contact form.

Please Visit Us!
Online photographs don't do art full justice. We encourage you to come by and have a look, to get the full impact of these marvelous artworks. 

We're located just off the Rideau Pathway, so wander by on your urban hike or ride, take in the glorious fall foliage, and have a peek at our display windows while you're in the neighbourhood! 
 
As always, we try to keep the Gallery windows interesting for passers-by.

While we're happy to welcome visitors again, curbside pickup and local delivery (within the city limits) remain available.  
 
We also can ship many of our pieces within North America.

 
We and our artists greatly appreciate
you shopping locally!
 

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or by appointment


 299 Crichton Street
or shop online. 24/7/365.

Telephone inquiries welcome at 613 748 - 2008.

Or contact us via email using this form.
galerie electric street gallery
 
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