Caballo Bebedor II, 2021

Hiscocks states that, ‘Drinking Horse is an iconic form that has been used over many years by various artists to capture the relationship that man has had with this graceful animal in all aspects of our lives. I have made this form in various materials and sizes, based on an initial clay sculpture I created in 2017.’ Having worked with horses in the racing world for many years, Hiscocks has an affinity, love and respect for the physicality and nature of the horse.

Seen from the side, Hiscocks has created a trompe l’oeil effect by deceiving the eye into believing that the sculpture is solid. The patterns of the plates of copper, become one surface and appear to have the texture of an old tree trunk or age-rings found on the inside of a tree, creating a link between the earth and the horse as timeless and mythical representations. The vibrant red-earth colours of the copper, glow and reflect the light creating a profound sense of texture and depth. Head on, when the multiple slices of copper interspersed by space are visible, the sculpture is like a hologram. It becomes a spectral, insubstantial image of a timeless understanding of a horse drinking. The physicality becomes unsure and confuses the eye, so that it becomes an ephemeral, fugitive image of a horse drinking – there but not quite there.

Hiscocks begins his sculpture making process by sculpting around a steel armature with mesh frame in clay or plastiline. He uses a 3D printer to scan and cut sheets which he then pieces together. Caballo Bebedor II is made from 2mm sheets of copper with a space between the sheets of 3mm. The end process is to polish and heat the copper which gives the metal its rich colour and burnished lustre. Copper is one of the few metals that can occur in nature in its native metallic form. It is the third most recycled metal, after iron and aluminium and it is estimated that 80% of all copper ever mined is still in use today. Caballo Bebedor II could be placed inside or outside where it would weather beautifully taking on different hues and tones as it aged.

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About the Artist

Hiscocks inspiration for his art comes from his interest in showing and revealing the layers of life and experience that makes a person an individual. He says, ‘We typically show the outside layer of our being which, although it may bear some of the physical signs of things we have experienced, will not reveal how we felt about the ways in which we have experienced ‘being’. The same thing can be experienced by different people in different ways. So it is the suggestion of what happens inside that interests me.’ He explores these ideas in his sculpture by ‘making most of my work in layers. I want my work to change as the angle of view changes, and as the context that they are placed in changes, in the same way that we can change according to our state of mind, and who we are with.’ He focuses on representing these ‘literal and metaphorical’ layers in his work, the aesthetic of which constantly changes depending on the perspective, viewpoint, setting and light.

Hiscocks feels constantly inspired and challenged in his work. He greatly esteems the age-old trade of craftsmanship, the process of creating and the acute attention to detail. ‘These values very much resonate with me and my work. Each of my sculptures goes through a number of stages – from traditional sculpting of the form, through the fabrication process, … [to be] all finished by hand.’

Hiscocks lives and works in Wiltshire. He spent the first few years of his working life with racehorses – as stable lad, assistant trainer and jockey, working in the UK, Ireland, Australia and the USA. At forty-five, he decided to change his career when he enrolled at The Slade summer school, and then embarked on a degree in Fine Art at The Cambridge Art School (The Ruskin Art School) where he was awarded the Fine Art Prize for his degree show. Having always drawn and painted, at Art School he became fascinated with sculpture, and began to use old and modern techniques to explore the idea of constancy and change. His work has since been exhibited in solo and shared exhibitions in the UK and Europe and appears in private and public collections in the UK, Europe, America, Australia and Saudi Arabia.

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