Mounted Section, Lothian and Borders Police O Division (2006)
About this artwork
Horses have been used to combat crime in Britain since 1758 and currently seventeen UK police forces use horses. Lothian and Borders Police have seven horses which carry out work as diverse as leading civic parades, searching open countryside for missing people and patrolling city streets. Commander, shown here on the left with PC Jim Baker, is the leader of the group and a steadying influence, whereas Merlin, shown with PC Jackie Jack, is more impulsive. This photograph was commissioned as part of a series titled ‘Force’, which reflects the breadth of activities that the Police service is involved with in Scotland. The composition is calm and reflective, with the horses and riders mirroring each other. Shown without their battle dress, the only clue to their roles is their riders' uniforms.
Jane Brettle is an artist and associate senior lecturer in Contemporary Photographic Practice at Northumbria University in Newcastle. She studied fine art and photography in Bristol, Sunderland and Derby. In 1988 she co-established Photography Workshop and Portfolio Gallery in Edinburgh. A founding director of Fotofeis (the Scottish International Festival of Photography), she has established photography projects and artist's initiatives in various parts of Scotland. Her current work involves gallery and site-specific installations in which she contrasts the ideals of the past with the realities of the present.