Tessa Spanton SWA Artist, tutor, writer


Welcome to my blog.
This is where I write about some of the things that inspire my work,
news of exhibitions and works in progress

Thursday, 8 October 2015

The Rising Tide

The Rising Tide by British Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor  was commissioned for the Totally Thames Festival  and installed on the foreshore of the River Thames near Vauxhall Bridge during September 2015

 I was there for over two hours and saw quite a change in that time. At the bottom of this post I have put a link to a you tube video that shows a time lapse from low to high tide, both beautiful and thought provoking,

The beautiful white shire horses and their riders were moulded from life except for the horses heads which are based on the heads of an oilhead pump, known as a 'nodding donkey' They are made from white marine concrete reinforced with steel to make them strong enough to withstand the tides.

As the tide rises twice a day the horses disappear under the water till only the heads of the riders can be seen.

They are a modern day version of the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

The two suited figures sit on horses that have their heads down grazing for oil. The figures represent politicians or business people and have their eyes shut oblivious to the rising tide.
Two children represent the future.

It was good to see them when the tide was low, to be able to view them from different angles and watch as the water rose. It was also interesting to see other people's engagement and responses. Some people were doing time lapse photography, some stood and pondered, some were posing for photos next to the horses, people were photographing from all sorts of angles. One man had his tripod in the water, another removed bits of rubbish from the water's edge and lay flat on his front to take photos. Others mudlarked, collected things like broken pottery from the shore. The Duck Bus took to the water right next to us and someone lost a boot in a patch of perilous muddy quicksand.

I enjoyed watching the changing shadows and the relationships of the shapes of the figures against the different backdrops.

The two children sit on horses that have stopped grazing.

I liked the details especially all the different shoes

 “The suited figures are ambivalent to their situation – I wanted to create this striking image of a politician in front of the Houses of Parliament, ignoring the world as the water rises around him. And they are sitting on horses that are grazing, taking as much as they can from the ground.” Taylor

For a time lapse youtube video that shows the full extent of the rising tide click here