Spirited Creatures

That afternoon when my dad hung a large painting of two brown horses on our grandmother’s living room, my eyes were instantly fixed on those beautiful creatures. It was in 1996 and I was too young to appreciate those animals – too young that they remained as merely images in my head.

But for more than a decade later, I could still remember that time in my life when I first saw them on that wall – so strong, so free, so elegant. Their eyes, yes their eyes staring at one another were connected by an invisible line that makes it so powerful, so moving, that to me, I thought was simply love illustrated in the simplest way.

And as I grew, my interpretation of the painting grew, and my curiosity grew with me.

When I embarked on a solo trip to the crater of Taal Volcano earlier this year, I had my chance of interacting with these spirited creatures. Christine, a 5-year-old white horse, was brought to me by her care taker minutes before a long journey to the mountainous rim of the volcano.

The moment I laid eyes on her, I immediately felt that connection as if we were long lost friends.

Nurturing that instant relationship of a woman and a horse - so natural, so magical. (On a steep terrain towards the crater)

Nurturing that instant relationship of a woman and a horse – so natural and so magical. (On a steep terrain towards the crater)

Several steep routes later, we finally arrived at the viewing deck. I placed Christine on a small stable and found a perfect spot to rest after a tiring (butt-numbing) journey. While taking in some fresh air, my attention was drawn to a man named Sonny who was struggling with his two horses.

The creatures were restless, pouncing and springing with the intention to escape. It was clearly not like the beautiful painting of the horses in my grandmother’s home. It was not love in their eyes nor even hate. There was no connection, no spark, no invisible line of hope between them and man. It was simply the reality…

Such journey urged me to do a painting of a man with two horses. A completely different take on the painting of horses that I grew up admiring. This piece depicts two possible points on how man could either be a carer for these creatures or an abuser. The artwork itself is open-ended as one horse is tied to the man and the other one is not. A thought that sprung from the recall of memories in my very colorful past.

Yes, this particularly got me into a lot of introspection.

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