Within the sculptural realm, Tim Storrier’s remarkable talent for capturing fine detail in two-dimensional form is further amplified. Storrier’s art stems from his ability to isolate a moment in time and perfect it with intense detail. Within his canvases, we see Storrier champion expansive and elemental imagery drawn from the Australian landscape: fire lines, sunsets and starlit skies. No element is an afterthought; each fibre, star and ember are meticulously poised, allowing the composition to sing with harmonious clarity. Storrier’s works of bronze sculpture demonstrate the same meticulousness of approach and are magnified within the present work.
Equine Impedimenta (Tully’s Baggage) 2019 reveals Storrier’s enduring fascination with the symbolic power of objects. An easel, hat, briefcase, palette, and multiple bulging sacks perch on the horse’s back. A rolled-up mat is slung over the withers where a mug, spoon, paintbrushes, and pouches are precariously affixed with rope. The grounding element of these objects is the saddle, which can only be glimpsed from the inside shoulder of the mount.
Storrier’s vast canvases have been contrasted with a series of smaller works throughout his oeuvre. He affectionately describes these as the minutiae of the tools the grazier uses to persist and succeed on the land. The saddle has appeared within this body of work at every angle and depicted in every medium becoming a steadfast motif. It is always the working saddle ladened with equipment; the essential interface between man and horse that carries him into the vast expanse ahead. The saddle itself is an exquisitely constructed object. Flaps, straps, buckles and padding provide comfort for the rider and animal, forming a complex piece of equipment that serves a deceptively simple purpose. The saddle may be seen as an overarching symbol of Storrier’s practice: the value and complexity of this seemingly humble object lies in its construction.
Tully’s Baggage originates from a broader series of works titled The Itinerant's Repose. First exhibited in 2019,
the series may be characterised by a strong sense of nostalgia for Storrier’s childhood in rural New South Wales. As the artist recalls:
My mother Nancy took my twin sister and [me] on long rides around the paddocks, across the creeks and through the stands of gum trees beside the fields of wheat and oats. The homestead sheds were full of saddles and assorted tack used with the working mounts … As children we were given ponies … These were older calmer animals - ambulatory, experienced and unfazed by children. I remember old Taffy. He had a propensity to bite as you mounted, would often try to scrape you off on a barbed wire fence and on occasion would kick.1
Some decades later, Storrier started the process of looking for an older mount with a gentle demeanour - much like Taffy, but without his apparent quirks. Storrier approached Gai Waterhouse who immediately introduced him to Tully, an old grey horse that was stabled with her more volatile racehorses to keep them calm. As Storrier explains, ‘It is an old practice, the calming effect of a grey horse on its flighty companions.’2
The present work is an object veiled in childhood memory, as conveyed by the collection of personal artefacts that comprise the horse’s load. Tully’s Baggage is testament to Storrier’s scrupulous eye for detail and the exhaustive craftsmanship needed to bring his equestrian subject to life.
1. Storrier, T., ‘Equine Impedimenta (Tully’s Baggage) 2019,’ Hopewood Editions,
New South Wales, 2020 [accessed August 2023]: https://hopewoodeditions.com.au/collection/sculpture-collection/equine-…