The Age of the Drowning of Sorrows and the miracle of Soju and Etha
oil on canvas
Tracey Clarke has taken nearly every little girl’s habit of doodling horses, turned it into startlingly realistic animal portraiture, and then added a frisson of creepiness. Her wild horses, blank-eyed and leaking stuffing, remind me of the Skin Horse from Margery Williams’ The Velveteen Rabbit:
“Real isn’t how you are made,” said the Skin Horse. “It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.”
“Does it hurt?” asked the Rabbit.
“Sometimes,” said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. “When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.”