Lalique has produced the first interpretation in light and crystal of Still Water, the emblematic sculpture by British artist Nic Fiddian-Green.
In the calm of his studio, with its sweeping views over the Surrey countryside in which he settled in the 1990s, he sculpts this noble beast for several hours a day, striving to encapsulate its strength and majesty on a scale from maquette to monumental: “The horse’s head has been a vehicle for my emotion and expression and serves as the channel through which I speak, expressing ideas of power, nobility, vulnerability, gentleness, grace and serenity.”
Many of Nic Fiddian-Green’s sculptures are installed around the world at locations ranging from city centres to racecourses such as Royal Ascot and Deauville. Apart from those in his native country, they are to be found in Australia, Hong Kong, the United States and a number of European countries. His work has captivated royalty as well as private collectors.
An expert in the ancient technique of lost-wax casting, Fiddian-Green likes to complete the final finishing and patinating of the bronzes himself. His range of sculptures also encompass works in hand beaten lead or copper, complete by him in his studio alongside more recently, the carving of marble and semi-precious stone. But working with crystal is a first for him. “After 30 years thinking primarily towards bronze, recently I have been carving marble and semi-precious stones, so working with crystal is a natural and inspiring progression. Fundamentally, I love working with materials sourced from the earth,” he explains.
Today, for the first time, Still Water reveals itself in the light of Lalique crystal. The sculpture is also displayed in colours – from black to amber, passing through clear, its crystal robe cut to measure by
the artisans of the Lalique factory at Wingen-sur-Moder in Alsace. Stretching their know-how to the
limits, they devised an “animal touch” technique and reproduced the artist’s gesture, resembling that of an illusionist: a balancing act in which the animal is poised on the tip of its muzzle, brushing the surface of the water. “A horse will never drink if it senses danger, it has to feel completely safe,” says Nic Fiddian Green. Strong in its presence, helpless in its posture.
Using a steel mould specially developed with the artist, a limited edition of 250 pieces was produced at the Lalique factory. It takes years of experience and highly trained skills to inject the mould with molten material heated to more than 1000°C and glowing like honey.
The encounter with Lalique casts Still Water, Nic Fiddian-Green’s iconic sculpture, in a new light. As he says: “My Still Water has become a much-loved equine image in both bronze and lead, and more recently marble. I believe this new crystal version will also be well received, proving that its iconic form can be just as successfully expressed through this new medium. The horse’s head is the major motif running through my work, linking my sculptures, whether they are bronze, lead, marble or crystal.”