This is one of a series of twelve horses sculpted by Atherton and installed along the railway track between Birmingham and Wolverhampton. Drawing on Eadweard Muybridge's photographs of horses in motion, each horse is different in relation to its position along the route, and this particular one is captured at a slow walk, heading towards the end of the platform.
The series of sculptures was commissioned in a collaboration between West Midlands Arts, British Rail and four local authorities, at a total cost of £12,000. An article at the time of their installation said that 'they move and pass you by like triumphant vestiges of the industrial life they embody and which was once a vibrant part of this area.' (1) The sculptures won an Independent/Gulbenkian Foundation Award for the arts in 1991.
The name is a pun on the 'Iron Horse' description of early trains, and the pieces are meant to keep the passengers' interest along a length of track which is not particularly attractive.
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