Fowler challenging equine equanimity
GOOSEBERRY Hill artist Grace Fowler wants people to open their eyes to the way animals are forced into “unnatural situations just for entertainment”.
The 18-year-old once used art as an escape from stress and drama at school but now uses it to express her opinions and campaign for “radical” change.
One of Grace’s most poignant pieces that advocates for animal rights is The horse with no name, displayed at the Art Gallery of WA as part of the Year 12 Perspectives exhibition which officially opened last week.
The former Kalamunda Senior High School student said the oils piece was created to raise awareness and highlight the darker side of the racing industry in Australia and how animal cruelty and disregard of the horse’s welfare was covered up by the media.
“It is a statement piece created to provoke a response from people who view it, whether that is sadness at the deaths of so many horses or anger, or anything else,” she said. “It is to demand a reaction. “There needs to be a radical attitude change in the industry, where the focus is about appreciating the horse as a horse and not as a moneymaking machine.”
Grace, an animal lover and animal rights campaigner, said the idea for the piece came after the 2016 Melbourne Cup, when she saw an image of a racehorse bleeding from its nostrils.
“After researching I was shocked and immediately decided to base my next piece on this issue to raise awareness and portray the emotion I felt towards this topic,” she said.
“I want people to ultimately stop and think of how we as humans force animals into unnatural situations just for entertainment.”
Grace said racing culture could still exist, but that animal cruelty practices had to be eradicated.
Artist Grace Fowler.