Thursday, October 16, 2014

meet the herd

The Alberta Craft Council has posted the on-line exhibition for the “Well In Hand” show of human/equine-inspired art.


In Dreams. Installation of chased and repousséd aluminium panels, in hand-made alder frames.
Largest pictures are 11" x 11" x 2". Christine Pedersen. 2014.

I knew that my pieces for the Well In Hand show would focus on the horse, because it was inspired by the snapshots already in my mind, from my life of being around them: grounded as an observer, connected as a rider. I put myself in charge of their welfare, made myself the herd leader. But I am not the same kind of animal.

I have always been concerned about the fundamental needs of all animals and how they are apparently yielded, or reined in by us through domestication. Horses particularly must forego their natural, genetic, behaviours to accept our leadership. For all animals, it boils down to the “four F’s”, the drivers, or hormonally-regulated mind states, (1) of evolutionary biology: feed, fight, flight, and fornicate. And I ventured a fifth dimension to explore—family: their life in the herd.

Our horses rely on us—an exchange of their companionship and labour for our care. So it seems that our job, as herd leaders, is to meet these needs fully. And to continue to question whether all that we ask is reasonable.

I will continue to explore the key themes in my installation, In Dreams, in future posts.


(1) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Four_Fs_(evolution)

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