I’ve spent many years experimenting with artistic mediums, but I always gravitate back to photography as the catalyst and foundation of my work. The ability to capture a millisecond of our history that would otherwise be missed, and immortalising it with my camera, fills me with a heady elation. I love that I am able to witness these fleeting moments, and once I’ve successfully photographed one, I cannot wait for the next opportunity.

I live in the New Forest, an area in southern England which has one of the largest remaining tracts of unenclosed pastureland, heathland, and forest, and where wild horses still roam free. I am thankful for this ever-evolving environment that feeds my creative mind on a daily basis. Nature’s influence impacts the way I work and the images I produce, bringing me a sense of freedom and curiosity that I use to create new work.

My pieces are inspired by the connection I have with horses. Just like people, there are many layers to a horse’s personality, and it takes time to uncover each one. Slowly but surely, with time and after building trust, the horse will allow you to see deeper into its soul. I am fascinated by the different aspects of each horse’s personality, and how my relationship with each horse that I photograph deepens and evolves.

I express these layers in my work, using multiple layers of photographs and mixed media techniques – such as encaustic wax – to create images that have depth and texture. The equine species has evolved tremendously over the past 55 million years, becoming a more refined, robust version of themselves. I use this concept to uncover new elements of their personalities and express them in my work.

The Impressionist period, where artists translated emotions into images and deliberately painted with a lack of detail, is a huge influence on my work. So is abstract expressionism, where the intention was creating pieces that provoke an emotional response from the viewer. I use these ideas and techniques in my own work, deliberately focusing on the broad details and emotions of the scene.

My challenge is always to express the perfect balance between the beauty and power of the horses I portray. Traditionally, beauty and power do not sit together easily in our society. However, I feel they can and should. I explore this duality in each layer of my work.

© EMILY HANCOCK FINE ART 2017