Artist Jeremy Houghton has been painting furiously in preparation for the opening of his latest exhibition, ‘All the Queen’s Horses’ at Art Cotswold gallery from 13th June throughout the Summer. Supporting three charities Retraining Racehorses, World Horse Welfare and the British Racing School, the work on display covers royal engagements alongside more personal childhood memories and moments.
Artist in Residence at Windsor Castle in 2014 and for the Prince of Wales at Highgrove, he is affectionately known as ‘The Queen’s favourite young artist,’ and has worked with the royal family at close quarters. These experiences allowed him to observe their daily lives so intertwined with horses from their formal military duties, abiding passion for horse racing and riding for pleasure.
“Her ponies and her horses are everything to her,” explains Jeremy, who is keen to tap into the passion that has sustained the Queen throughout her life. “My aim is to exhibit artworks that represent all aspects of her life with horses, from childhood to the present day – it’s an enormous undertaking!” As an artist in residence, he is well versed at working intensively alongside military men and at events with elite sportsmen – and it’s a challenge he relishes.
Jeremy has used sepia to depict the early life of Queen Elizabeth, giving the impression of an old photograph or an aged negative. It’s a distinctive style that he has mastered. “Ever since she was little, Queen Elizabeth has had a pony, and 90 years on, it’s still the thing that gets her up in the morning.” What this collection gives us is a very human reflection on the queen and her life, which includes polo matches with her grandsons and many with Prince Phillip as the key figure in her life. The artist has successfully navigated the fine line between formal and family life which is both respectful and touching.
During the Jubilee celebrations, the Queen will be presented with one of Jeremy’s paintings of a much loved horse, Dunfermline. In 1977, the year of the Queen’s Silver Jubilee, she won five British Classic races (in total, the thoroughbred ran twelve times and won three.) It is fitting then, that this portrait is a gift from the nation unveiled at the Derby in the Plantinum Jubilee year, “It’s quite an honour. She is very proud of him, knows everything about him and will notice every little detail!”
A separate project sees Jeremy working with the Queen on the 100th anniversary of The Royal Lancers, 75 years after she was made Colonel-in-Chief of the regiment. It’s a particulary exciting year for royal commissions with a focus on horses – a theme that is carried throughout much of his work from racing, polo, horses at war and indeed life – his two daughters love to ride. Digging a little deeper behind the scenes, it’s the people who make these places work that also interests the artist, “hanging out with the gauchos at the pony lines, those are the nuggets you look for. I like to know what makes people tick.”
If you would like an invitation to the exhibition at Art Cotswold Gallery please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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