Wood you Like to Talk to a Horse?
Life Size Horse by Heather Jansch
From the beginning my twin passions were drawing and horses. I was a pony mad country girl but my hero was Leonardo da Vinci and my dreams were of becoming an international artist who lived among wooded foothills with clear flowing water at my door and horses grazing all around.
I was a wild young thing and hated the confines of school especially in the summer and was a disruptive student except during art classes. I took A level art two years early and failed all my O levels except English language but miraculously that got me to Walthamstow College to study visual art. There, drawing was regarded as the first essential. I was enthralled and excelled. I went on to the now famous Goldsmiths College in London where sadly, at the time, figurative work was unfashionable. There was a life room, and models too, but no tutors ventured near. They liked and encouraged (typically) 6ft square green canvases with triangles and circles in bold clashing colours and sculptures using planks and blocks of polystyrene.
At the end of the first year I was asked to leave the course. I was told that I did not have the stuff that painters were made from and, if lucky, I might scrape a place somewhere to do graphics. My confidence was shattered. I was not interested in graphics. I liked the country, painting and constructing things from what lay around.