In Australia for Equitana , Greg and I attended an art show at the Art Gallery of South Australia . One piece in particular, stopped us in our tracks. The title of the sculpture was ‘We are all Flesh’.
Belgian artist, Belinde De Bruyckere created this thought-provoking sculpture. It is two real horses, hanging by a winch. It was shocking. We like seeing our horses in the pasture- frolicking full of motion and life. It took some courage to get close. This is incredibly realistic and masterfully created. It is made of epoxy resin and covered by the skin of real horses. The next question…WHY?
Here’s the meaning behind De Bruckere’s sculpture:
“De Bruckere hopes that once the initial association with the image of ‘real’ horses has passed, that viewers will begin to see or understand her sculpture in relation to human emotions and confronting moral contexts. De Bruckere uses the horse as a symbol for our humanity, which she deliberately abstracts in order to lay bare our vulnerabilities, afflictions and fears. ‘We are all Flesh’ is a reminder of the fragility of existence – made all the more stark by the jarring juxtaposition of (apparently organic forms with the permanency of metal armature. The brutal mass of steel structure, which was once part of an oil rig, conveys the heaviness and oppressiveness of death. ‘We are all Flesh’ considers what it is to let go of life.”
Death – A Tender Subject
Death is a subject we love to avoid. The fact that all beings are going to die is not where we allow our thoughts to go. This artist’s brave exploration, is not only a stark reality. Yes, death is real. It is also a provoking realization of the control we really have of our thoughts. Many of us refuse to entertain the possibility of our own death. We don’t think about the inevitable. Something like 60% of the population does not have a Will. We move on. We’ll think about it tomorrow. Doesn’t that indicate that we actually have extraordinary control over our thoughts? Yes. And so, why not use this mastery to entertain enlightening, joyful compassion for the good of the planet?
We came away from this exhibition with a deep respect for this artist’s courage and talent and a reaffirmation of how to live life. What was initially disturbing became profound feelings of acceptance.
The Artist’s Viewpoint
Here is a video of De Brukere talking about her ‘We are all Flesh’ exhibition in Australia back in 2012:
* Please note that the processes used by Ms. De Bruckere are entirely humane, and any horses used in the making of her sculptures first passed of natural causes or illness and came to her through a trusted veterinarian clinic.
Wishing you many happy trails, and a long, happy life 😉