Dark horse: Artist Tanya Bartlett, of Maryland, with racing legend John Tapp at the unveiling of her sculpture, The Yearling and the Leader. NORMALLY it would take Maryland artist Tanya Bartlett about 18 months to create asculpture the size of the bronze piece unveiled at the opening of the Inglis Riverside Stables complex on Monday.
But for the past four months,it had been “action stations” for everyone involved in the creation of The Yearling and the Leader.
“It is based on the yearlings coming into the sale ring,” Ms Bartlett, also the creator of theLes Darcy monument in Maitland, told the Newcastle Herald.
“I was first approached to do it in August, and I knew that we would be really pushing it for time.
“We mucked around with concepts for a few weeks, but by the end of September we knew what we were doing and it was action stations.”
Ms Bartlett worked on scaffolding and ladders in her father-in-law’s shed to sculpt the modelout of plasticine. The larger than life-sized sculpture depictsa spirited colt andits handler at the sale yards.
“It was huge, my studio couldn’t accommodate it,” she said. “It is three metres high because the horse is rearing up slightly.”
After creating the model, she worked with n Bronze, a Sydney-based foundry, that completed the casting and bronzing process.
“They were amazing, they worked through Christmas. They lived and breathed it like I did,” Ms Bartlett said.
There was no room for error due to the tight time frame.
“The unveiling was going to coincide with the Inglis’ first big sale on Saturday, but they were really hopingwe would have it ready for the official opening of the hotel and the whole complex,” Ms Bartlett said. “And we did.
“The horse is made up of about20 differentpieces. It islike a big three dimensional jigsaw puzzle…it was abig job for everyone.
“I love that there isthis beautiful connection with the handler and the horse. He is a little bit frolicky because of the environment he is in,but all is in control.”
Ms Bartlett was the sculptor behindthe Sir Donald Bradman and Mary Poppins statues in Bowral, as well as a depiction of Redoute’s Choice at Arrowfield Stud in Scone, among others.
n racing legend John Tapp unveiled thestatue at the front of The William Inglis Hotel in western Sydney on Monday.
The new luxury hotel is part of the $140 million Riverside Stables complex, which is also home to an equine auction house and a purpose-built event centre.
“The colt is about 10 per cent larger than life sized,” Ms Bartlett said.
“We made him quite muscled. He is quite well-formed for a yearling.
“But itneeded to have that impact, because the hotel behind it isbig. You come in through the gates and there it is. So we beefed him up.
“The complex is beautiful.”