trueCOWBOYmagazine Sept/Oct 2014 - Page 8

Blood Rescue Eric L. Hansen In early 2012, Artist Eric L. Hansen had begun to explore his personal connection with horses. “All the animals share our collective unconscious,” he says, “but I was beginning to discover, in some deeper way, that horses have a special place with us; a very, sentient high place. I wanted to experience that ancient relationship for myself, for all of us.” Looking back through art history, Hansen felt the cave drawings from 30,000 years ago, in Lascaux and Chauvet, were the most authentic horse art ever made. He was determined and compelled to make a series of “21st century cave drawings”. “Originally, thousands of years ago we hunted horses as wild animals; for food, clothing and shelter, and to make tools. Then around 5000 years ago, somewhere in the Steppes of Western Asia, one of us rode a wild horse for the first time and the world changed forever,” says Hansen. “To honor this change in our relationship to horses, I named my project Blood Rescue and conceived it as an art project. I wanted to explore my own relationship to the horse, perhaps as a proxy for all of us,” he says. Hansen found a ranch in middle Tennessee with twenty two horses, mostly rescues, where he could take photographs and create the images for Blood Rescue. There he made a visceral connection between the days that horses were hunted as wild animals to today when horses are rescued from kill buyers for slaughter and human consumption. The original cave artists mixed horse blood with ochre to make their paints. Hansen does as well. A lot of people were shocked by this and thought, “What did he just say, he does what?” “No,” smiles Hansen, “Of course I don’t murder horses for their blood. But I thought veterinarians doing surgery would give transfusions and maybe there is a Red Cross for horses.” As it turns out, there is and he bought a quarter liter of equine plasma on Amazon. They shipped it to him in dry ice making his paints authentic.