Tess Dumon: Artist's horse therapy

By Matthew Knight, CNN

Published 1226 GMT (2026 HKT) July 23, 2015
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Tess Dumon's life-size horse sculptures were suspended from the ceiling in the atrium at London's Central St. Martins art school. Courtesy of Tess Dumon
The French postgraduate art student's sculpture is titled "Stabat Mater (Lorasifar, Depakin, Tegretol & Circadin)." It was inspired by her older brother's life-long struggle with epilepsy and autism. Each horse is named after the four medicines (listed in brackets in the title) prescribed to control his epilepsy. Courtesy of Tess Dumon
The equine-themed work also relates back to her brother Louis' experience with horse therapy, which can help mentally and physically disabled people improve their strength, balance and motor coordination. Courtesy of Tess Dumon
"He started doing the horse therapy when he was 15 and he's still doing it," Dumon explains. "It is the central theme in my work." Courtesy of Tess Dumon
Dumon was going to do a business management degree before being persuaded by her parents to study art. Courtesy of Tess Dumon
Dumon is halfway through a two-year Masters degree at the Royal College of Art in London. Courtesy of Tess Dumon
Her latest equine-related work was commissioned by Ascot Racecourse, which wanted a bold sculpture for the King George VI meeting on July 24-25. Courtesy of Tess Dumon
"I was completely thrilled," says Dumon. "It was a good opportunity because I hadn't made any horses since last year -- I was so happy to make another one." Will Reid
Dumon (left) at work on her Ascot sculpture. The 24-year-old uses chicken wire which she cuts into pieces and reshapes. Courtesy of Tess Dumon
Cuts and grazes go with the territory. "It's part of the job. No pain, no gain!" she explains, cheerfully. Will Reid
"I usually work from the image in my head. For the Ascot horse they gave me a reference image to work from, which was more difficult," she says. Will Reid
"What I like about the chicken wire is that you can see through it. There is a lightness, a transparency," Dumon adds. Will Reid
"Horses are the central theme along with memory." Will Rei
Voila! Dumon and her completed King George VI sculpture. Courtesy of Tess Dumon
The Ascot sculpture was then festooned with flowers. Ashley Morton-Hunte/Ascot Racecourse