e q u i n e a rt s
“Equus Clutha” Photo credit Andy Scott
This sculpture was bought by a local government regeneration agency in the town of Greenock in Scotland. They wanted a landmark artwork for a new streetscape in the former docks area of the town to celebrate the role horses played in the docks and shipyards of that formerly industrial part of Scotland. “Equus” is of course Latin for horse, but “Clutha” is actually Gaelic for “The Clyde,” the river beside which the horse stands. Local folks have taken to calling the sculpture “Ginger” in honor of a much-loved local horse who lost his life in an accident in one of the docks back in the 1930s. It’s particularly nice when local people adopt a sculpture this way.
In due course, after many exciting career twists and turns
brings a rational architect’s eye to project development and
based in Scotland (the life of a professional sculptor is never
presentations, and away from the studio we share the same
straightforward), my wife Hanneke and I decided it was time
interests in architecture and the built environment.
to broaden our horizons and we set up our current studio in the city of Philadelphia.
wonder why I do it. There are certainly easier ways to make
We’d visited the USA a number of times and exhibited
sculpture. It is hard work. Unforgiving. Steel doesn’t lend itself
in New York, Chicago, and Indiana. It gave us a sense that
to shaping the way clay does, and it certainly puts up a fight
there may be an audience and a market for our studio output,
as I try to form the nostrils of a Clydesdale or the fetlocks of a
but the sheer scale of the country dictated that we should
Cob. It offers all sorts of physical challenges, not only to me in
establish a physical presence here. We’ve been lucky to meet
the working, but to the structure of the sculpture.
some great artistic colleagues and set up a fully equipped 6,000 sq ft studio in north Philly.
I make most of the sculptures from steel. I sometimes
Most folks don’t think about it often, but a horse is a very heavy mass of beast to be balanced on such small and fragile
I should explain that Hanneke and I work as a team.
structures of bone and muscle. Replicating this in steel can
Hanneke is a qualified architect, and she manages the
create all sorts of challenges when one takes wind-loading
business side of the practice, overseeing the accountancy
and installations into consideration.
and the project management issues. This allows me free rein
I use a distinctive style of steelwork, wherein I assemble
to concentrate on the actual design and sculpting. She also
the sculptures from myriad sections of steel plates, carefully