A MUSEUM is telling the story of horses in Somerset through a display of paintings, photographs, museum objects, and British Pathé film footage.

The Horse Power exhibition will be housed at the Somerset Museum of Rural Life, Glastonbury, until January 7, 2023.

A spokesperson for the museum said: “For many years, horses were a daily presence in the lives of Somerset people, used for both work and leisure.

“The exhibition will explore the essential part working horses played on farms and in transporting both people and goods around the county.

“It will also look at the range of specialised crafts and trades associated with horses.

“Saddle and harness makers, blacksmiths and vets were all important members of the community who looked after horses.

“Somerset’s long history of horse racing and hunting also feature. The centre piece of the exhibition is the display of the Minehead Hobby Horse.

“It is perhaps one of Somerset’s most striking May Day traditions when the large-folksy horse is paraded through the streets.”

Somerset County Gazette: Visitor service assistant Kerry Morris with the Blinkers art installation by Jacky Oliver. Picture: Steve RichardsonVisitor service assistant Kerry Morris with the Blinkers art installation by Jacky Oliver. Picture: Steve Richardson (Image: Steve Richardson)

As part of the Horse Power exhibition, artist and metalworker Jacky Oliver has been commissioned to create a large-scale kinetic contemporary artwork, Blinkers.

Jacky was inspired by her research into the museum collections and the Somerset Archives.

She was drawn to the form of blinkers because of their geometric shapes and their role in preventing horses from becoming distracted. 

The sculptural installation draws on a range of traditional metalwork techniques and processes, and its use of shadows represent the idea of something that is no longer there, echoing a lost memory.

Jacky was commissioned to create the piece by Somerset Art Works as part of Somerset Art Weeks, which runs until October 9.

The installation will be in place at the museum's Abbey Barn until October 30.