Bronze beauty

Exhibition at Galeria Côrte-Real to benefit disabled riders and a new community network group, ARC Horse Welfare

By Carolyn Kain

Opening during the weekend of September 29 and 30, Galeria Côrte-Real in Paderne presents an exhibition of wonderfully expressive bronze horses created by distinguished sculptress April Young.

She has executed life-size commissions for high-profile clients such as Morgan Stanley and Total Oil as well as smaller sculptures and sketches for London’s Royal Academy of Art.

Sensitive yet unsentimental, her figurative sculptures have won considerable acclaim; notably bronze and ceramic studies of the horse – and sometimes the carousel horse – being especially aesthetic.

This is the first occasion her work has been seen in Portugal and she will be present during the opening weekend when a small charge of €2 is being made and donated to the association Riding for the Disabled (RDA).

Forty young people attending local special schools will benefit. Experiencing a range of problems associated with cerebral palsy, autism and impaired learning, the children regularly attend riding classes and hippotherapy sessions at Pinetrees Riding Stables in Almancil.

The charity supports a team of specially trained physiotherapists supervised by Bev Gibbons, an instructor qualified to work with the disabled.

Providing help with self-awareness, independence and social skills, most importantly horse riding develops muscles and joint movement, which improve the children’s walking, balance and head control.

Established in 1989, the RDA needs monetary contributions in order to continue its valuable work.

Also using the exhibition as an opportunity to raise awareness about its work, ARC Horse Welfare is a recently established community network group. By providing advice and an online site for sharing information about horses that need help, their aim is to improve conditions for neglected and mistreated horses in the Algarve.

Anyone concerned about an animal’s well-being can contact the organisation by email, providing details of the problem and the horse’s location.

Expressing her concern about “the plight of creatures absorbed in the daily trials of existence,” April Young has loved horses since she was a child. Her exhibition of limited edition sculptures and drawings celebrates the nobility of the horse – capturing character, raw energy and movement whilst maintaining anatomical truth.

During the opening weekend complimentary fine wines and savouries will be served to visitors on the gallery’s garden terrace.

The exhibition is signposted from Boliqueime, Ferreiras and Paderne, and is open Thursday to Sunday, 11am until 5pm.

For more information, please contact 912 737 762