Wolverhampton Art Gallery – Until 11 June
This exhibition, simply entitled ‘Animals’, is the acclaimed British artist Robert Davies‘ latest project. After moving away from London, where he has spent most of his adult life, to the beautiful countryside of Worcestershire, Davies, a life-long animal lover, got involved with the locally based Farm Animal Sanctuary. The sanctuary houses farm animals that have been sold or discarded due to ill health or poor productivity.
In his work Davies seeks to challenge the popular conception regarding animals used for food, next to preconceived ideas about celebrated animals, such as racehorses. Speaking on his website (robertdavies.uk.com) he says, “Racehorses are held in high esteem and often given human characteristics when they are described – strong, brave, spirited, intelligent. The animals of food production are measured by their productivity and treated in a way that reflects this.”
Davies’ lifelike drawings are profound, and celebrate the beauty and strength of each animal in the collection. Joanna Lumley, the patron of Farm Animal Sanctuary, is passionate about Davies’ drawings and what they symbolise. Lumley said, “I love the way he draws the wool on a sheep’s back, the foot of a cow; I feel I would recognise each beast from its picture, so clearly realised are their expressions and deportment. By showing the animal alone on the page he allows us to look at it without distraction as a wonderful creature in its own right.”
This thought-provoking exhibition is open now at Wolverhampton Art Gallery until 11th June, and is completely free. CK