Heard NY

Today I headed to Grand Central Station to pet a horse.

There’s an explanation: Performance artist Nick Cave is holding a seven-day exhibit showcasing his 30 straw-like horses at the station, and twice daily they put on a performance. Grand Central is great for random things like this – if you remember, I went to a squash tournament in the same space in January.

The colourful life-sized horses are made from paper, card and material that sashays with each movement. It took a month for six people to build one suit; Cave made a prototype and then enlisted a team of artists to build the rest.

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Two dancers from The Ailey School (where Cave himself was once a student) fill each suit, and we got to see them climb into the fluffy skirts and don the heavy heads.

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With the suits in place, the horses came to life, each one with a different personality. They nudged each other, flinched and flirted with the audience, each showing off their beautifully sequined head pieces.

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Then the music picked up and the dancers separated and shook it.

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Despite the exceptionally tall man standing right in front of me, this was brilliant. It was both modern and a tribute to Grand Central’s past, as the horses are a nod to the oldest form of transport. And I loved how placing it in such a hub made disgruntled commuters slow down for a peek and a smile.

And as an added bonus… who did I spot among the crowd? Nick Cave himself.

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