August 14, 2007
Paintings by Neil Cawthorne and Barrie Linklater capture the dynamic speed of horses in motion whilst detailing the fine musculature of the equine species. Scaled up sculptures by Lorne McKean portray man’s best friends such as ‘Lillie’ the Bulldog and ‘Boris’ the charismatic Great Dane. The swirling surfaces McKean finishes her sculptures with give an inner life to the subjects that greet the visitor with beady canine eyes. All work in this compact show successfully captures the essence of country life. A hot hazy mist surrounds Linklater’s ‘A Summer Morning in the Glover’ and a steamy aura of body heat radiates off the racehorses in Cawthorne’s ‘After the Last’. The quality of composition in the paintings is well structured particularly in Cawthorne’s ‘The Passing Storm’ as the fresh scent of new rain is palpable. Cawthorne depicts hunt scenes majestically conveying the even rhythm of the movement of the dogs in ‘Away’ and the posture of a natural leader in ‘The Huntsman’. The entrance to the gallery displays McKean’s tall, lean sculpture of the Duke of Edinburgh executing a polo manoeuvre that adds to the regal tone of this display of fine equestrian art. As Linklater describes the horse in the title of a painting exploring the mystery of this much-celebrated beast, here is ‘A Creature Born of Fire and Air’.