Rearing Horse II, 2020
Hiscocks states, ‘A rearing horse is so full of energy. It’s like a release of energy and emotion. I set about trying to capture something of that energy in this sculpture.’ Hiscocks worked for many years with horses in the racing world before he became a sculptor and thus, has an in depth understanding of the physicality and nature of the horse. In Rearing Horse II, he encapsulates both the elegant form and dynamism of the horse. The sculpture gleams as the light bounces off it in multiple ways, highlighting different facets and surface texture. Several different planes of stainless steel represent the depths of the body, of bone, muscle and sinew. The material is thoroughly modern, but gives hints of something timeless, of ancient material like strata in a rock or flakes of slate; indeed, the shapes are suggestive of a rocky landscape, of rivulets and ravines, connecting the horse to the energy of the earth from which it rears. In profile, ripples of light are created by reflections on the hard, shiny surface, like ripples of water or energy, giving a sense of muscle and strength, movement and energy, but also the ripples of emotion, going deep into the psyche. As perspective and light changes, different facets are revealed and the reflected light on the silver-coloured surface creates an ethereal, serene aesthetic from the solid, hard surface. From the front, when the viewer is completely aware of the different cut segments that make the totality of the sculpture, the horse appears like a hazy mirage, as if it is not quite there, visible but invisible.
Hiscocks believes that the materials he uses are important to his work, and the physicality of the making process brings its own resonances. The physicality of Rearing Horse II creates a deceptively simple, graceful form. The process, however, is complicated, incorporating traditional and innovative methods. Hiscocks makes an initial clay or plastiline sculpture, using traditional sculpting methods and then uses a 3D scanner to scan and cut multiple sheets that will make up his sculpture. In Rearing Horse II, the slices of stainless steel are 3mm thick and are assembled and welded together with a 3mm gap between each slice which gives the sculpture its ethereal, airy feel. The gaps allow the light to shine through the sculpture making it appear vulnerable, whilst the sheets of stainless steel bring strength to the sculpture. The different facets unite in a sculpture that never looks the same twice.
Rearing Horse II is made in marine quality stainless steel which is particularly resistant to corrosion and rust and so the sculpture is suitable for showing outside or inside. Stainless steel is 100% recyclable.
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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.