ABOUT THE PROJECT
“Valegro Sculpture for Newent” Media Release July 2018:
Work continues apace to obtain funding for a half-life sculpture of dressage superstar
Valegro to grace the centre of the Gloucestershire market town of Newent in order to
celebrate Valegro’s achievements in putting British Equestrianism at the centre of the world sporting map.
Since the project launched in November 2017, marked by Valegro’s appearance in Newent accompanied by his rider, Olympic Gold Medalist Charlotte Dujardin, and his groom, Alan Davies, the project has been busy securing funds and finalising an artist and a design. After consulting with Carl Hester and Charlotte and one of the potential artists it was decided that rather than have a full-sized statue of Valegro it would be half size, or half-life, instead. As project member Jemima Parry-Jones explained “There were several reasons, not least that it was what Carl wanted, but also the place where he will stand on a plinth means that a full-sized statue would have been over powering”.
Following the change in plan six potential artists were chosen, provided with a brief for the project and asked if they were interested in submitting a design. All six replied enthusiastically to the brief and after their material had been considered the number of potential artists was narrowed down to three with a request for more detailed information. Although Charlotte Dujardin had already stated that she wanted the statue to be of Valegro on his own, key questions still remained such as should Valegro be portrayed in extended trot or piaffe, should he be wearing his tack or not? The additional
information and the responses to these questions helped Carl to choose the artist.
The project are delighted to announce that Gloucestershire animal artist and sculpture Georgie Welch has been chosen to undertake the commission, with Valegro plaited and wearing his competition tack in a pose that will be decided shortly. The next stage will be for Georgie to produce a limited edition of twelve bronze maquettes (models) of the final design, which will be approx. 11 inches high and which will be sold to raise funds for the project in order to achieve the ultimate goal of having the Sculpture in place by Spring 2019.
In addition to the maquettes a number of copies of Georgie’s initial concept drawings are being made available to buy. The drawings are signed by Carl Hester and Charlotte Dujardin as well as the artist and will be available to buy at the Hartpury Festival of Dressage in July 2018.
Artist Statement of Georgie Welch
“Through my sculpture I attempt to portray the natural power, grace and beauty of my favourite subjects. Although I make every effort to broaden my portfolio, the temptation to focus on working with horses and dogs is often overwhelmingly irresistible.
Working at the family riding school during my younger years sowed the seeds of my passion for equestrianism, spending time later on working with an equine physiotherapist allowed me the opportunity to study in depth the physical make-up of these glorious animals and to develop an understanding of their form and composure which is so important to my work.
Figurative Sculpture was my chosen discipline to study and during that period I was fortunate to work with a very established equestrian sculptor for several weeks. After graduating my first bronze commission came from the owner of a terrific little horse that years earlier I had competed to Advanced Dressage. Since then I have been combining sculpture to commission with a portfolio of my own work.
All of my work is cast in the UK and overseen at every stage by the artist.”