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Inspirational equine artists.

This week I would like to introduce to readers two artists in Bahrain who manage to capture the majesty of the equine world on canvas.

They have been inspired by the kingdom as well as the Arabian creatures they feature in such wondrous colours.

Anna Leanda Thackray explained: "I have been in Bahrain for just over two years and the country as well as the people of Bahrain have been my inspiration.

"I think the Arabian horse is the best metaphor to describe the spirit of Bahrain. Just looking at the way a horse carries itself with 'pride' and 'precision' enforces respect. They are truly regal and majestic animals.

"I want to show the animal as physically 'powerful', yet juxtaposing it with its graceful gentleness. There is something unique about Bahrain - I think it is the extreme contrasts."

Anna's paintings are multi-faceted journal statements of her travels, interpreted into modulated collages. She starts the process by choosing the subject, then with that idea produces three or four paintings, each a different version of the same subject. Following this, only the parts she wants to use are cut out and stitched back together on canvas.

An uncomplicated item such as a piece of cloth or leather is transformed into an object latent with metaphors and symbolism. Traversing the two-dimensional into the three-dimensional, yet still rooted in the discipline of painting, Anna's art is conceptual and abstract in nature and borders on the surreal.

Anna has been painting for 'forever' and cannot remember a time she did not paint or create; with a BA (Hons) in Fine Art & Painting, it has been her life. With a host of commissions, exhibitions, competitions, you can find more about her by visiting

This site contains a portfolio of Anna's work and the pictures that are featured today are just a small selection from this extraordinarily talented lady.

Ciara Stolwyk is another truly exceptional talent. This young lady has been commuting between Bahrain and Ireland over the past four years.

Passionate about our four-legged friends (she would be constantly found drawing unicorns at school!) she initially chose other paths in life such as training at an international academy of travel and as a make-up artist.

It was only a year ago that her real love of painting, drawing and sketching came to the forefront. On one of her trips to Ireland she found herself at a complete loss and her mother, a textile artist, suggested she should paint.

Ciara started painting at a local studio and was suddenly inundated with calls asking her to sell her paintings she had left at the studio.

Ciara says she is inspired by all aspects of nature but, in particular, horses and especially the Arabian horse because of its movements and pure beauty.

She uses vibrant colours and builds collages using gold and sometimes even make-up, mixing the traditional aspects of art with the ultra modern and finding variations on many themes. As a result her pictures are simply stunning.

Ciara usually sells her paintings through Ivan Wolfe at Hazelhurst Artists Working Studio in Monkestown, Cork, Ireland. You can see some more of Ciara's beautiful work on Facebook; check out her page - Artistic Nature. Ciara Stolwyk.

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Publication:Gulf Weekly
Date:Jul 13, 2010
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