Arborfield’s new horses are taking shape

The statues being prepared. They will ultimately be installed in Arborfield Green when they have been completed.

THREE life-size horse sculptures will be installed in Arborfield as part of recent housing developments.

Created by Amy Goodman, a sculptor and portrait artist from Quarley, the work was commissioned in 2017 by Crest Nicholson for its Arborfield Green development.

The work is a tribute to the site’s history as the home of the Remount Depot and Horse Infirmary of REME.

Titled Youngster, Sports Horse Mare and Icarus, Crest Nicholson hopes the three horses serve as a piece of remembrance and enjoyment for the community.

The artistic process involved several stages from drawings and scale models, to working up the life-size armatures using scaffolding bars, welded-steel bars and mesh, before the clay work and final casting.

Once the internal structures were completed, the sculptures took approximately six months to finish, with Ms Goodman working simultaneously on all three pieces.

She said: “I created the rearing Icarus war horse sculpture with a hogged mane and short tail, and branded his hooves with the date 1918 as a subtle reminder of his history.

“He was inspired by a Cleveland Bay stallion at Cholderton Farm, which was just five minutes from my studio, so I feel very lucky to have had a real life model nearby.

“I had a very intense five-and-a-half months doing the clay work on my own, however this was a dream commission for me and I relish working at this scale.

“I wanted to capture the lively nature of the horses, so I moulded the clay using fast movements and finished the sculptures using iron-rust patina which is exceptionally vibrant and should complement the green of the beautiful surrounding landscape.”

David Hnyda, sales and marketing director at Crest Nicholson Chiltern said she is looking forward to installing the art next year.

They will form part of a new bridleway created by the developer.

“Arborfield Green has been developed in line with our Garden Village concept, which aims to create community-minded homes surrounded by green open space,” Mr Hnyda said. “We’re pleased to honour Arborfield Green’s military history throughout the development today, from these new horse sculptures, to the original, refurbished buildings and the acres of ancient woodland.”

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