“Horse People”

 A Collection of paintings by David Baird. 

David Baird Exhibition at the Craft Granary

The David Baird Exhibition at the Craft Granary

This is just a small sample of the work on display at the Craft Granary Gallery.

Please Note: Photographs can’t possibly capture the real essence of a paintings lighting, shading, visual impact etc. It just can’t be reproduced in these photographs. But you can see them with your own eyes and for Free by just dropping in to this exhibition. Mon-Fri: 10am – 6pm, Sat: 9am – 5pm & Sundays 12 noon to 4pm.

Some words from David Baird:

There was a time when I would only ever paint dogs and horses. I enjoyed solving the various colours, shapes, textures and getting a reasonable likeness and of course it helped to have a fondness for these animals. How can you not love horses?

In July 2007 I went as usual to the local Clonmel Show, hoping to take a couple of photos that I may later use. The sun was shining, great light and the horses looked fantastic! I was still using a film camera so I had to wait for the results. I can remember looking through the exposures and wondering why one in particular held my attention. Yes, the backlit horse looked great, but really no better than some of the others. I had to admit there was something about the rider standing at the horses head. The outfit, top hat and veil that never fails to conjure up up that timeless elegance of bygone years. I had other work to do but the image constantly stayed in my mind, until the following year when I decided to paint “Side Saddle Lady”. Thank you  Karyn Kennedy, you were to be the inspiration and first in this series of “Horse People”, collected here and there, that became the main focus of my work over most of the following ten years.

Racing appears to predominate although this wasn’t the original intention. Parade rings are a near perfect arena for what I now call “Artarazzi”. If horses are there to be seen, then so too are all those involved; owners, trainers, jockeys and stable hands and all within an almost intimate setting.

I have always felt very fortunate to be working at the fringe of this fantastic Equine industry in Ireland. Today, there can be few sports, professional or otherwise, where you can move freely among participants while they go about their business. During the summer at Ballindenisk, I just happened across a certain Sir Mark Todd washing a set of boots in a black plastic bucket. Thirty feet away, Michael Ryan stood laughing on his mobile phone while, in the other direction, a small child hung grimly onto a pulling black and white terrier. All of life is there for me, an endless seam of moments.

I accept responsibility for all the photographic reference later used in the current collection of paintings, apart from one. Despite standing two paces to the left of the photographer as we snapped Ruby Walsh, her taking on shot to my four, hers was the image I much preferred. Thank you Tina Whelan.

The paintings themselves are really quite simple, with a fair amount of detail. No doubt I’ve taken from early days when as children we would avidly collect cards for “Uniforms of the World”. All figures on black background. No distraction, just an emphasis on the subject to hand. It is a recollection that has stayed in my mind through the years.

My hope in this collection was to capture the essence of the character in the individual I painted; caught in a moment, unaware, in their natural environment. This necessitated a degree of stealth on my part. While there are many well known faces from the racing fraternity among the collection, there are also a few lesser known characters whom I have recently been able to put names to. However hard I’ve tried a few mysteries remain. Should you recognize anyone who features here, then please tell them. Pass it on.

Over the years, I have continually delayed putting my work “out there”, on public display. There were always convenient reasons not to; the constant desire to add just one more, that particular photograph, a certain person caught in a good light and all of which had to be included. The original intended series long ago became “The Collection”.

I would sincerely like to thank all those who became part of this collection. I hope I haven’t taken too many liberties. Thank you all.

No more excuses, I hope you like it.

David Baird.