Nicolene Swanepoel Pretty Ponies 2015 | | Art in South Africa
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Pretty Ponies 2015 | Ilse Schermers Art Gallery Franschhoek

Artist Statement

From historic workforce through sweating sport steed to contemporary companion, horses seem destined to pull their weight for humans.

Gender histories are also loaded onto their backs - since the warring soldier and farmer’s workhorse have mostly been retired, women have entered the area to compete, or just to enjoy a leisurely hack through countryside.

Popular culture is flooded with imagery of horses. Little girls grow old while dreaming of having their own horse.

It is as if there is a genetic tendency in humans to crave their power, to admire their beauty and to ride them.

My work for this exhibition rather frivolously paints unencumbered, pretty ponies, rather than serious, embattled steeds.