The collection hung on steel-sheeted walls, between the timber frame bar and barrel tables and oversized leather couches.
Eleven massive linocut prints capturing a moment in competition—a tacked jumper awaiting his rider, a horse galloping on course, one mid air over a vertical, another of the pair walking on a long rein. In each, the rider is absent or obscured, drawing the focus firmly onto the animal.
The debut collection of Sarah Lockwood-Taylor took center stage at the newly unveiled Paddock Club at the World Equestrian Center in Wilmington, Ohio over the weekend. Her unique take on traditional printmaking made for the perfect compliment to the space—at once intimate and oversized, modern and traditional, minimalist and detailed.
We caught up with the Cincinnati-based artist before the launch party to talk about her craft, what inspires her and what happens when your chisel slips on a six-foot board.
Horse Network: Lino-cutting brings back memories of high school art class. How did you get involved in the art form?
Sarah Lockwood-Taylor: Well, I’m a textile designer by trade. Like you, I learned how to do it with tiny stamp of lino cuts but have used it in textile design. I’ve always really enjoyed the medium.
In January , I started on a small piece and then it just grew. I had blocks commissioned and it just got bigger and bigger. And, hopefully, come January I may be starting a nine-foot piece.
HN: The attention to detail in your work is stunning. How long does it take you to complete a piece?
Lockwood-Taylor: Probably about three or four weeks.
Just to hand print them, [it takes] six hours a piece. Generally, with the printing, you’ll probably print two to get one good piece. Sometimes there is ghosting and shadowing where it slips and you start again.
HN: It’s really an exercise in patience.
It takes a lot of patience, but I also find it quite therapeutic.
HN: What happens if you slip while you’re carving and take a chunk out of your lino board?
Lockwood-Taylor: That’s it. Some mistakes could be rectified, I suppose, once you’ve printed and pulled the print—maybe there is one or two small things you could rectify with a paint brush. But generally, if you’ve slipped, yeah, you’re starting again, which on the bigger pieces can be quite scary. Especially when you’ve spent four weeks [working on one]!
I have had some chisel accidents too. (laughs)
HN: Ian Millar says that the last 20% of an undertaking takes 80% of the effort. Is that your experience when you’re finishing a piece?
Lockwood-Taylor: No. For me, I think you start off really eager and then it builds. At the end, you want to start printing it to see what it’s like. You don’t really know what that print is going to be like until you’ve pulled it because you are working in generally mirror image and negative space. Once you put the first ink on, you can get an idea. So it’s quite exciting.
Sometimes I like to print one and then start the next one where really I should be printing several. Sometimes I print and correct and refine some of the prints and other times, I go right back to [cutting] because I’m so eager to start the next one.
HN: You feature horses and dogs in your work. What draws you to your subject?
Lockwood-Taylor: I’m really passionate about animals. We have two horses and we have three dogs. I think they are gifts to us and make us very humble. They are just full of love and give a lot of love and a lot of great energy.
They are very therapeutic.
HN: Is there something specific you’re trying to capture with each piece?
Lockwood-Taylor: You know, I think each horse is unique. Each animal has its own beauty. And there is something that touches me with each image, whether it be movement or power or just that sincere look of innocence really.
HN: You mentioned an upcoming nine-foot piece. What’s next, a 20-foot piece?
Lockwood-Taylor: Definitely a larger piece is on the books! I’m restricted with some of the widths and to get the boards commissioned, so I think I’ll start off with three panel pieces and try to do a full-size horse. That’s what I’d like to do.