Valerie Price-West lives on a small holding with husband, 7 Arabian horses, 2 dogs and a cat. It is her horses that are the inspiration for her work. Valerie has dipped in and out of working with clay for most of her life and in 2019 at the age of 48 she took the leap to do a 3 year degree in ceramics at Carmarthen School of Creative Arts. Valerie enrolled to improve her knowledge on working with clay and finding a technique that would suit her and what she wished to achieve which were horses and figurative sculptures.
In her second year she had this mad moment and joined New Quay Celtic long boat rowing team and ended up doing a series of work relating to her experience rowing out on the sea in all weathers and working as part of a team. Valerie has always done mad things like walking 100 miles non-stop, but rowing competitively has to be the hardest thing she has ever done, she could not get over how much pain you went through and how much mental strength you needed to keep going. This being why Valerie had to portray the whole experience into clay.
About 12 -18 months after graduating Valerie had the burning desire to get on and start making what she always wanted to make and that was horses and to try capturing their spirit. She wanted to pay homage to her boys and especially Celti Shadow who passed away in 2008. The sculptures are about their relationship, how they work well as a team, how over the years a special friendship develops of total trust and loyalty. Valerie tries to portray the freedom, the amazing feeling you have when together be it stood admiring the views or cantering through forests and over mountains you have a feeling that nothing can touch us, no one can take those special moments in time away from you.
To be able to let your horse go miles from home and they will follow you and even if they go ahead they will always keep you in sight, waiting for you because they want to be with you, to ride them bareback with just a piece of rope, none of this can be bought you have to earn their respect their loyalty with trust and kindness. This is what she tries to capture.