Artist of the Week: Martina Vermorel – Horse Woman, The Walks

My name is Martina Vermorel and I am an artist and writer. I studied Art & Performance with Textual Practices at Dartington College of Arts and graduated in 2011. I have been producing and exhibiting work since 2004 and am currently working on a project entitled Horse Woman, The Walks which is both a collection of short stories and poems as well as performances which have been shown in different parts of the UK, including Cornwall and Wales. I have recently relocated to Liverpool having lived in Machynlleth, Wales for the past year.

Horse Woman, The Walks’ aim is to complete a series of performance walks following the map provided in the book, The Bridleways of Britain. The project explores duration, which is a central to my Arts Practice. I have become increasingly curious about working with duration in the context of a gallery space; my previous works have often been silent and viewers watch the work unfold over a period of hours or days. This piece pushes these notions further; the work takes place outside in a public domain which pushes myself as the artist to investigate communication between the audience and the artist. Horse Woman, The Walks, seeks to learn more about my own boundaries and deals with dialogue between performer and viewer.

Bridleways of Britain Map
Bridleways of Britain Map

Horse Woman is a story about a woman who falls in love with a horse. She loves the horse so much that over time her treatment of the horse begins to border on neglect. Horse Woman looks at the relationship between animal and human; the differences, similarities and actions taken.

The story climaxes with the horse’s death as it accidentally jumps off a cliff whilst trying to run away. As the woman has completely isolated herself from everyone and everything, it is up to her to move the horses body and dispose of it.

Horse Woman, is a multi layered piece that carries a complex investigation into the mind of a young woman. The relationship between the woman and the horse has become so convoluted that it becomes difficult to tell which is woman and which is horse, or if the horse or woman exist at all. Horse Woman delivers a story of madness, isolation and obsession.

My work is concerned with the body being used as a central material and working with the narrative; works are created in contextually appropriate sites that are personified by their aesthetic and historical descriptions. The work can also find itself being compared to animal behaviour in particular horses, looking at the communication between us and them and how their psychological characteristics compare to our own.

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