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Philip Blacker (Sculptor)

Philip Blacker MRBS

Philip Blacker was born in 1949 and was educated in Dorset. On leaving school he became a steeplechase jockey and rode professionally for 13 years, being placed in the Grand National on several occasions and riding 340 winners. It was during this time that Philip Developed his latent enthusiasm for sculpture. Under the guidance of Margot Dent, a former pupil of John Skeaping, he devoted as much time to sculpture as he could spare from his riding and his first three editions, all racing bronzes based on The Grand National, sold out quickly.

In 1982 he retired from the saddle to concentrate full time on sculpture. Philip Blacker’s first one-man show was held at the Tryon Gallery, Cork St, London, in November 1983, and was hugely successful. Initially his work concentrated on capturing the authenticity and movement of horse racing subjects. Since his retirement from the saddle he has moved on to include a wider subject matter and to experiment with technique. However his ambition was to work on a grand scale and the opportunity came when he was commissioned to create a life-size sculpture of Red Rum for Aintree Racecourse. Since the success of the Red Rum bronze, he has completed 26 further life-size or larger bronzes of horses, which now stand in Canada, Australia, France, Ireland, Barbados, Japan and the UK.

In recent years his life-size commissions included sculptures of the triple Cheltenham gold Cup winner Best Mate, Persian Punch for Newmarket Racecourse, a dressage horse for the New Equestrian Centre in Penang, Malaysia, and an eighteen foot high sculpture of a stallion for Saudi Arabia.

Philip’s most recent work includes life-size bronzes of Lady Bamford’s Oaks winner Sariska, Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden for Sheikh Fahad Al Thani and a half-life size for Lady Lloyd Webber of her great filly The Fugue. Philip’s large-scale non equestrian subjects include a sculpture for Blythe shopping centre of a local legend, strong man Willie Carr. In addition to this he completed a 1.25 size bronze of the featherweight boxer Jim Driscoll for the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation in 1998.

Since that first exhibition, Philip Blacker has held six more one-man shows. In each he has demonstrated his increasing versatility, creating sculptures of the human form and animals, both wild and domestic. In all of these he demonstrates that his sculptures capture the essence of expression and suspended motion. Philip Blacker has carried out countless commissions of racehorses and other subjects around the world, with sizes ranging up to twice life-size, which are listed below:

1988 Red Rum for Aintree Racecourse, Liverpool. 1990 Mrs Moss for the Marchioness of Tavistock, standing at Woburn Abbey 1991 Desert Orchid for United Racecourses, standing at Kempton Park Racecourse 1992 Sculpture of strong man Willie Carr for Hunting Gate Ltd, standing at Blythe shopping centre. 1992 Northern Dancer for the Ontario Jockey Club, standing at Woodbine racecourse. 1994 St Leger winner Snurge for Sir Martyn Arbib, standing at Whatcombe Stables. 1995 Derby winner Generous for HRH Prince Fahd Salman, standing at Epsom racecourse. 1996 Arc De Triomphe winner Suave Dancer for Mr Henri Chaloub, standing at Longchamps racecourse, Paris. 1996 Mare and foal for Mr Charles Vincent, standing at West Tytherley. 1997 1.25 scale bronze of boxer Jim Driscoll for the Cardiff Bay Development Corporation. 1998 Classic winner Bosra Sham for Mr Wafic Said, standing at Tusmore Park 1999 Danehill for Coolmore Stud in Australia and Ireland. 2000 Champion National Hunt Sire Deep Run for Coolmore Stud. 2001 Blast of Storm for Barbados Turf Club. 2002 Mare and Foal for Japan 2004 Triple Champion Hurdle winner Istabraq for Mr JP McManus 2005 Triple Cheltenham Gold Cup winner Best Mate for Lockinge Green and Cheltenham Racecourse. 2005 Multiple Group 1 winner Persian Punch for Newmarket Racecourse. 2005 Dressage Horse for The International Equestrian Centre, Penang. Malaysia. 2006 Twice life-size statue of Arabian Stallion Twaiq, and 1.3 life-size of Arabian Mare for Saudi Arabia. 2007 One and quarter size sculpture of multiple Melbourn Cup winner Makybe Diva for Flemington Racecourse, Melbourne Australia. 2011. Oaks winner Sariska for Lady Bamford. 2013 Melbourne Cup winner Dunaden for Sheikh Fahad Al Thani Half-life size commissions include: 2003 Classic winner Alborada for Miss Kirsten Rausing 2005 Multiple Group 1 winner Albanova for Miss Kirsten Rausing. 2011 Dar Re Mi for Lady Lloyd Webber. 2014 The Fugue for Lady Lloyd Webber

In 2014, Philip held a sell out Exhibition in London titled ‘Farewell, Leicester Square.’A Perspective From One Hundred Years On. An Exhibition of Bronze Friezes held at The Thompsons Gallery, London.

Philip’s son ‘Dan Blacker’ is a successful trainer in Santa Anita. California.

For further details on Philip’s current stock, please contact Lindsey Knapp – Victoria Gallery. Tel: 01829 720035.