CASW Prize Awarded to a Horse

12 August 2017

A huge charcoal drawing has been added to Oriel Ynys Môn’s collection as a result of awarding the Contemporary Art Society for Wales’ Purchase Prize. 

At the Anglesey 2017 National Eisteddfod the drawing ‘Jacques’ Horse’, by Llangadfan sculptor Stephen West, was bought on behalf of the society (CASW). It was given on permanent loan to the gallery in Llangefni.

The sculptor’s work has undergone a profound change in the past few years. Since Stephen West was diagnosed with the eye condition glaucoma the artist has been inspired to look anew at the world around him and to concentrate increasingly on drawing. ‘Jacques’ Horse’ is amongst one of many large scale drawings that Stephen West has undertaken of the scene outside the studio window.

“Several years ago I unrolled this five foot roll of Fabriano paper across a blank wall in our studio in south-west France. I stapled it up on the old plaster and cut it off with a knife. I started drawing what I saw through a pair of glass doors to the garden outside.

“I was looking at textures and light falling on a quince tree, iron railings, clumps of bamboo and making marks that responded to the different plants. Our neighbour Jacques has a pair of racing horses, a mother and foal, and they would come up to the garden fence as my wife Shani was pulling up weeds, so they got into the drawing too. There’s no particular season as I worked on the drawing over a couple of years, but perhaps the seasons are represented in the four panels that I made from the original drawing.”

The Contemporary Art Society for Wales’ Purchase Prize is awarded to work in Y Lle Celf’s Open Exhibition which is added to the CASW collection and given on permanent loan to a public gallery within the National Eisteddfod’s host area.