Rita Dee Hudson River Driftwood Horse Sculpture

'When I bestride him, I soar, I am a hawk; He trots the air; The earth sings when he touches it; He is pure air and fire'     William Shakespeare

   The desire of my work is to dig beneath reality’s surface and strive to interpret the hidden mystery which lies in the spirit of the horse. I realize that what stands before you is but a glimmer of the reality glimpsed in the moment.  My words and work frustrate me at times and fall short of the beauty that flash before my eyes. But this tension is what drives me to work ever more diligently to find that beauty contained in each piece wood…to discover the horse lying on the shores of rivers and woodlands. The great architect, Frank Lloyd Wright, said, “ God is in the details.” I have always held fast to this philosophy. The most rewarding aspect of the process is in the observance of the smallest detail. The flare of the nostril, the tilt of the head or twist of the torso, not only create life in my work, but have important meaning in the life of the horse. I love these details! 

   In my years of being around horses, I have had to learn to pay very close attention to all the subtleties in equine movement. Every little nuance can have profound meaning and signal the difference between a gentle nudge or a well placed kick. The backward flick of an ear, the swish of a tail or the stomp of a hoof surely needs our keen attention. God most certainly is in the details where horses are concerned and created them to be very adept at finding our weaknesses in lightning quick time! The moment we take up a lead rope or sit in a saddle…there is no where to hide; The horse knows with whom they are dealing.

   The grace, beauty, strength and nobility of the horse is unmatched in the animal kingdom. Horses have been with us throughout history and have lived through all our joys, sufferings, and blunders, as well as our times of great grace. The following poem by Ronald Duncan written in 1954 sums it all up:

Where in the wide world can man

find nobility without pride,

Friendship without envy,

or beauty without vanity?

Here, where grace is served with muscle.

And strength by gentleness confined.

He serves without servility; he has fought

without enmity.

There is nothing so powerful, nothing less violent.

There is nothing so quick,

nothing more patient.

All our history is in his industry.

We are his heirs,

He is our inheritance.

Rita Dee

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