If you happen to be touring historic estates in the U.K. this summer, Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire is a good place to start. In addition to its sprawling 18th century Baroque palace, 2,000 acres of impeccably landscaped parkland, and impressive history (Winston Churchill was born here), Blenheim has one more feather to add to its cap this season: Hamish Mackie’s stunning, large-scale bronze sculpture of an Andalusian stallion.
Part of a series of six “life-and-a-quarter” sculptures by Mackie known as the Goodman’s Fields Horses, the stallion was originally created as a public commission for the Berkley Group’s mixed-use urban development in central London, an assignment which helped to launch the artist’s career.
The sculptures were inspired by a fantastical idea: during the 1890s, a group of horses have bolted from their downtown livery and are running loose in traffic on the streets of London. Mackie, who is considered one of the foremost wildlife sculptures of his generation, is known for his zealous commitment to working from life—in this case, studying and recreating the types of horses who might have been found in a turn-of-the-century London stable.
Working in clay, plasticine or wax, Mackie creates his sculptures using a lost wax method of casting which dates back 5,000 years. After more than two decades working with the Lockbund Foundry in Oxfordshire, Mackie and his team are not only able to craft museum-caliber pieces, but to cast sculptures in such intricate detail as that you can actually view the artist’s fingerprints, a hallmark of his work, in the finished bronze casting.
Mackie’s sense of texture and movement are especially evident in the Andalusian Stallion, which will be on display at Blenheim Palace through September 2016.
Or, if you happen to be traveling across the Pond the fall, Mackie will be holding a solo exhibition in the Mall Galleries in Central London from October 10-22. Entitled, “Mackie’s Life in Bronze” the exhibition will include more than 40 new works based on the artist’s wildlife research in Australia, Asia, and Africa, and his continued study of the wild and domestic animals of England.
Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Mackie created his Goodman’s Fields Horse sculptures here:
H/t Oxford Mail