Allison SMITH Art

Hobby Horse is a sculpture that I made and performed in San Antonio, Texas during a residency at Artpace in the fall of 2006. It was originally inspired by a small, hand-carved rocking horse that I found at a county fair in England. I wanted to monumentalize the toy in homage to its anonymous maker, as well as to physically “enter” equestrian statuary, the best-known form of war memorial sculpture.

While riding the Hobby Horse in costume, I sang a song set to the tune of the patriotic Civil War song "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," which was in fact based on an antiwar Irish folk ballad. The Civil War version is a call to welcome home the heroic soldier, while the earlier song is a sad lament on the horrors of any war, wherein Johnny returns a broken man. In my own version, I asked when or if soldiers ever can "come home," rocking in place as a way of gesturing toward a contemporary state of cultural impasse.


Hobby Horse
Allison SMITH Hobby Horse Wood, paint, horsehair, leather, brass, glass
Hobby Horse (detail)
2006
Wood, paint, horsehair, leather, brass, glass
98 in. x 112 in. x 36 in.

Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London. Photo credit Todd Johnson.
Allison SMITH Hobby Horse
Hobby Horse (performance)
2006
Please click on image again for more detail.

Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London. Photo credit Kimberly Aubuchon.

Allison SMITH Hobby Horse
Hobby Horse (performance)
2006

Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London. Photo credit Kimberly Aubuchon.
Allison SMITH Hobby Horse Edition of 10, Lithograph with relief
Hobby Horse (Song Sheet: What Are You FIghting For?)
2006
Edition of 10, Lithograph with relief
20.5 in. x 17 in.

Edition of 10. Printed by Hare and Hound Press, San Antonio, Texas. Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London. Photo credit Kimberly Aubuchon.

Allison SMITH Hobby Horse Wool, canvas, linen, cotton, paint, wood, aluminum, leather, brass
Hobby Horse (performance props)
2006
Wool, canvas, linen, cotton, paint, wood, aluminum, leather, brass
Dimensions variable

Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London. Photo credit Todd Johnson.
Allison SMITH Hobby Horse Wool, canvas, linen, cotton, paint, wood, aluminum, leather, brass
Hobby Horse (performance props)
2006
Wool, canvas, linen, cotton, paint, wood, aluminum, leather, brass
Please click on image again for more detail.

Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London. Photo credit Todd Johnson.

Allison SMITH Hobby Horse
Hobby Horse (installation view)
2006
Dimensions variable

Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Collection of The Saatchi Gallery, London. Photo credit Todd Johnson.
Allison SMITH Hobby Horse
Hobby Horse (performance DVD)
2006

Videography by Jim Mendiola and Faith Radle. Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Collection of the Saatchi Gallery, London. Photo credit Todd Johnson.

Allison SMITH Hobby Horse
Hobby Horse (prototype)
2006
Please click on image again for more detail.

Photo credit Kimberly Aubuchon.
Allison SMITH Hobby Horse
Untitled (Holly Hobby)
2006

"Allison Smith: Hobby Horse," Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Photo credit Todd Johnson.

Allison SMITH Hobby Horse Overshot weaving, wool and linen
Security Blanket (Drums of War)
2006
Overshot weaving, wool and linen

"Allison Smith: Hobby Horse," Artpace San Antonio, Texas. Woven by Leigh Alexander. Commissioned by Artpace San Antonio. Exhibited in "Allison Smith: Hobby Horse," Artpace San Antonio, Texas, and "Public Displays of Affection/Affliction," Tandem Gallery, Birmingham, Alabama. Photo credit Todd Johnson.
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