"In the 1970s I made horses out of real mud and sticks. They were, in part, meant to reflect how much a horse is part of his environment--I combined the figure and the ground."--Deborah Butterfield
Deborah Butterfield's remarkable interpretations of horses are constructed from such materials as crushed metal, wire, mud, straw, and fragments of wood. The sculptor has several horses of her own on a ranch in Montana, where she studies their movements and form carefully. Unlike Marino Marini's sculpture Cavaliere (Horseman) (circa 1949), in which the horse is portrayed as a stylized creature, Butterfield's sculptures are portraits of individual animals. For Woodrow, the artist took a selection of sticks, tree branches, and bark that she cast in bronze, then assembled and welded the pieces together into the form of a horse. Even though Butterfield's sculpture is made of many fragments, its spare and elegant structure is very lifelike. Woodrow blends easily with the natural setting of the Garden because the artist patinated (colored) the bronze branches and twigs, making them look like natural wood.