Horses Tag


Hey there, you wanna hear some great news? Well the HORSE Shop is coming to an internet near you this month!!  After the success of the HORSE exhibition tour through Canberra, Tamworth and Sydney the work is now available in the comfort of your own home, while you sit in your bed socks with cup of your favorite tea. The current series of HORSE is available in editions of 10 and printed on the finest ILFORD archival cotton rag 320gsm paper stock. All work is printed locally, so while you are supporting Australian artist like me you’re also supporting Australian small business.

I’m currently working on a new series of work to be released in early 2018. This series will be limited release only with exclusive viewing opportunities. A sneak peak will be coming to you this spring. Join my mailing list to keep up to date on all the details.

If you can not wait for the store to open you can order prints directly from me by sending me an email, and i’ll send you the price list for the HORSE series.

Ponyland Exhibition QLD

I’m very honoured to be invited to feature a selection of work from my HORSE series in the Ponyland (The Big Pony Show) at the Logan Art Gallery in Queensland. The show will open this December and feature works on loan from the National Gallery of Australia and the Art Gallery of New South Wales and many other amazing Australian artists who have used horses in their creative work.

I will hopefully be travelling up north to see the show myself and will bring back photos of the exhibition to share with you all.  The horses that will feature in the Ponyland exhibition are: GERRY, PEPE, and BLUE.

Sydney, the horses are coming!

Hello Hello! Horse exhibition is now moving to SYDNEY! Yes that’s right, after great success in Canberra and Tamworth is will now be part of the International Head On Photo Festival during the month of May. This will be huge! 100 venues, 180 exhibitions and events, and 800 artists hosting workshops and artist talks all throughout Sydney during 5-28th May 2017, but you can find HORSE only in one place, Scratch Art Space Marrickville Sydney.

See invitation below for key dates, and please feel free to bring along all your friends.

HEAD ON Photo Festival Sydney

The horses are off to Sydney! I have been accepted into the HEAD ON Photo Festival next May 2017 with my exhibition, HORSE. Head On Photo Festival is Australia’s most prestigious photography event and one of the world’s leading photography festivals. It is also Australia’s only annual photography festival.

Held in Sydney over three weeks, it hosts numerous free events and exhibitions, low-cost workshops and talks led by Australian and international industry professionals.

The Festival encompasses the prestigious Head On Awards (Portrait, Landscape, Mobile and Student Prizes) with the 2016 Prize Packages valued at over $50,000.

Each year, the Festival presents the works across all genres of over 900 local and international photo-artists at more than 100 venues across Sydney and regional areas.

The Festival has also presented artists in exhibitions toured interstate and internationally to the US, China, India, The Netherlands and New Zealand, and engaged a global audience of more than 1 million people.

With a philosophy of inclusivity and fair play, work submitted for exhibition in Head On Photo Festival is judged without the artists’ names thereby enabling the work to stand on its own merit. As a result, the festival is one of the very few platforms providing invaluable (if not otherwise unattainable) opportunities to emerging and established artists alike.

Attracting a plethora of artists to exhibit from prestigious and highly acclaimed photographers including Magnum’s David Alan Harvey and National Geographic’s Chris Rainier, and Australia’s own Tracey Moffat and Murray Fredricks to students embarking on a career, Head On Photo Festival occupies a unique and vital place on the Australian arts calendar.

The festival has been running annually since 2010 by the non-profit organisation Head On Foundation.

HORSE Travels to Tamworth

Early next year HORSE exhibition will be on show that the regional Weswal Gallery in Tamworth, during the famous Tamworth Country Music Festival! 19 JAN- 19 FEB 2016.

Weswal Gallery 192 Brisbane Street Tamworth NSW AUSTRALIA

T: +61 2 6766 5847

Open Thurs – Fri 10am to 4pm; Sat – Sun 10am to 2pm or by Appointment

Sandra McMahon 0438 235 657

HORSE My most successful exhibition

There you have it, HORSE is closed in Canberra and ready to move on!

This body of work took approx. 8 months of shooting every weekend and after full time work to complete, but two years in the making. My father helped me get started on this project that he thought was strange at first (to photograph a horse inside a building) but I proved to him it would be visually interesting, and that the idea would work. So he supplied his time and horses to help me work it out and all of 2015 we shot all the test shots to ensure the idea would work seamlessly when I worked with strangers and their horses as I continued the project.
With the invitation from Nishi Gallery last Nov I had to get a wriggle on to make new work in time for the exhibition date.

I’ve travelled all around the region to meet people with horses. These people have now become my friends.  Many hours retouching and deliberating the final selection. Many moments of doubt and then confidence, a total rollercoaster of emotions. Its the type of thing that happens when you are exposing yourself to the world in this way. You are open for complete criticism and judgement as you express yourself as an artist.

As daunting as it could have been, I am totally chuffed with the results of my third solo exhibition, a sell out in Canberra of all places where they say its hard to sell art in Canberra. The gallery had many visitors from all over the country for the during the 3 week period, and the opening night was a full house with patrons purchasing their favourite portrait on the first night.

We held a very special event In Conversation with Horseman Angelo Costa during the second weekend of the exhibtion. Angelo spoke candidly about horse psychology and insights into his life as a horse trainer over the past 50 years. The video will be posted to youtube over the next 3 weeks.

Now I look back on what a great time i’ve had putting this exhibition together, I don’t think i’ve worked so hard on something in my life! It has taken a massive commitment, but then again everything does if you want to do something great. Reward doesn’t come without effort. Dreams don’t get fulfilled without help from others And life isn’t interesting unless you step outside your comfort zone.

I’d like to thank my sponsors Ted’s Professional and Ilford papers.


My HORSE Story In All Its Glory – By Beth Jennings

“The two ladies that just came into the gallery were burnt in the 2003 Canberra bushfires saving their horses. It looked like one lady had lost her fingers. She had burns on her face, all down her arms. Her mother had burns on her face. I think people would save their horse in a fire because their animals are like family members.

When I think of horses I think of family. We all rode horses. We’ve always had horses in our life. No matter where we lived we had horses. They’ve come and gone through our life. They were always sold, we didn’t keep them, except in some cases where we had them for life as pets until they passed away and that was always very traumatic.

When I was writing my journal, I was writing about ‘the why’. My father came through in it a lot. I was digging really deep into how my father was involved. It got really intense and I had a breakthrough. It made me really emotional discovering that connection between me and my Dad. It was that horses tie me to my father. I only ever went riding if my father was there. He’d saddle it, put the bridle on, did all the work. I just had to turn up.

When I was a kid I loved anything with horses on it. As a teenager my bedroom was filled with horse pictures, and horse paraphernalia. I was obsessed with them. I had a passion for them, like lots of other young girls, except I was fortunate to own one. At that time though, I had a fear of them, too. I was riding, but I had a fear of them because I didn’t understand them.

‘Fantasy’ is a word I think of with horses, they are kind of like a fantasy object. They are mysterious, I love their shape, the outline, the form, I love their…I love their…natural behaviours. Why they act the way they do in the wild. That’s why I photographed them unbridled, in their stark shape, it’s the only thing that makes them recognizable as a horse. It’s that outline that’s unmistakable.

Photographing them is my dedication if you will – to how I see and feel about horses. I haven’t tried to tell stories about the horses’ lives, but I have tried to tell a story about the horse’s character. I love the still horse, that’s what I’m exploring at the moment. It’s not about the movement. When it’s standing still is when it’s showing its presence. That’s what I’m attracted to, is its presence.

The Stromlo site supported the theme about presence. It’s a ruin of the old telescope observatory which was part of the Australian National University. It was situated in the forest that burned in the fires. The site has an echoy ambience. Oddly enough it still feels like a room. When you walk in, it has the entrance, the windows without glass and the roof is gone.

In that space – I imagined a horse blending into its environment, an unnatural environment. So when I put a grey horse in there against the concrete background, I could explore the idea of horses blending into unnatural worlds. And it showed me that I could use the same space with different horses. I didn’t have to go looking for different backgrounds. I wanted different horses, different types and different personalities to explore against the same background.

I should have brought my journal – that’s got all the details of the process including my emotions and difficulties.

The horse has its limits. You can’t keep asking and asking without giving it a little bit in return. So if I’m asking him to stand there for five minutes, I have to give him five minutes break in return. I can’t keep going give me more, give me more, give me more. I’m conscious of when I have to give him breaks. We’d usually shoot for about an hour because I felt like asking for more than an hour was too much for the horse, and the owner.

Even right at the beginning…when I asked Dad to photograph one of his horses – we got up at 7am to wash him, put him on the float and drive 40 mins to go to Stromlo. I thought, oh my God I’m asking so much of my Dad, this is so much effort.

Then other people were saying, that’s a lot of effort to do that. There was this one person that kept challenging my effort for it. I had the effort for it but they saw it as a major logistical challenge. You shouldn’t ask that of them, it’s too much, nobody is going to want to bring their horse up there.

It is a lot to ask of people: I put the owners out of their convenience, you have to trek up this winding hill, and I only had a short period of light before it went down in the evenings.

It was challenging me to say to myself, yes it is a lot of effort, maybe I shouldn’t do it, or yes, it’s a lot of effort, but maybe I should do it anyway because it’s worth it.

At the end of the day they loved participating and they’ve all told me they are really thankful to be a part of it. They enjoyed having their horse in the series, be out of its comfort zone and to do something interesting like that.

This horse project – no matter how logistically challenging it was, that took most weekends for the whole year, made me work with complete strangers and didn’t guarantee me any results – I knew I had to keep doing it to push through.

If I want to do something I will find the way to do it, if it means something to me.

For me it was a pleasure to get up on a Saturday and Sunday after full time work. And when I stopped because it was complete, I missed driving up there – my friends were my assistants, my generous helpers that were there for an hour or so to move the lights around, to give up their time to help me out. But we all had fun on the shoots even the toilet accidents from the horses were pretty funny!

It was just in somebody else’s eye that it was a logistical nightmare. To me it didn’t seem like a chore, because I loved it.

I still don’t know what I’m doing, but I know I want to continue doing it. I want to be on a large scale, doing my horse stories, my way. I feel like they are a subject I’m willing to trudge around for, to go to big extremes for, to make amazing stories, my way.

I was never meant to be an amazing horse rider, or trainer, but it’s me, photographing horses, in my way.”


Grace Costa‘s photographic exhibition HORSE is showing at the Nishi Gallery, Canberra

HORSE Exhibition

8HORSE Exhibition is almost here! I will be sitting the gallery Saturday and Sunday’s 11-3pm during the exhibition so come and say hello. Nishi Gallery open Wed-Sun 11-3pm. In the mean time please enjoy this lil clip of the making of HORSE. Exhibition is free entry


Canberra Horseman – Nishi Gallery


In Conversation with Angelo Costa.

Angelo Costa is a Canberra horseman who has spent over 45 years training horses and teaching horsemanship. This is a special event held in conjunction with Grace Costa’s exhibition, HORSE. Angelo will share heart-warming tales of his career, insight into equine behaviour and psychology, and the importance of body language when working with horses. This is a wonderful opportunity to be enlightened and inspired by a man who has the deepest understanding of horses. This event is a must for anyone with horses or an interest in animals.

Angelo started training horses with his best mate in the paddocks of Narrabundah. In the early 80s, he was the last official drover in the ACT, still moving cattle and sheep across the nation’s capital. He has worked as a saddler, trained racehorses, and has specialised in re-educating thoroughbreds off the track.  Up until 2006 he was the owner of local Mugga Park riding school.  Angelo is currently training horses while working on his first book. His knowledge of equine psychology will leave you fascinated and change what you thought you knew about horses.

*Submit your question via email to

WHEN: Saturday November 12th 2016
TIME: 10-11:00AM
WHERE: Nishi Gallery, 17 Kendall Lane, New Acton Canberra ACT
TICKETS: See link below only $15


Please submit your questions for Angelo to grace@gracecosta Subject Line “Special Event”

Introducing New Work to Nishi Gallery

Wow its actually been 4 years since my last exhibition in Canberra (2015 exhibited in Sydney). In that period of time, I’ve featured in many group shows both here and interstate, signed up with a local gallery The Photography Room, was a featured in the National Photographic Portrait Prize (2014) exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery and won many photography awards along the way. So I haven’t just been sitting on my butt waiting for the next show to come along!  Late last year actually, the Nishi Gallery, New Acton invited me to have an exhibition of my photography work. I was a little unsure at first as I didn’t have anything really in the pipeline except the beginnings of a concept photographing horses, so this invitation was the perfect reason for me to get a wriggle on and finally make waves on this new series.

It all started with the first image of my fathers horse taken in 2014, I felt the image had potential to be explored, so my father and I produced lots of prototypes to ensure the concept was achievable. Horses have always been a true love of mine. My father being an extremely skilled and passionate horse trainer of over 45 year, may have something to do with where my passion has come from.

I selected from a wide variety of local horses but 15 remain the features of the show. The chosen horses were selected for their character, individuality, form, and colouring. Canberra’s Mt Stromlo’s Yale Columbia Dome became the set for many months of shooting, and I could not have created what I have without the use of that space as well as all my angel assistants: Suzzi, Lee, Hubby, Lucy, Shaun, all the owners, and of course the horses themselves, what a fabulous job they have done to help me achieve my vision.

HORSE is a series of portraits celebrating Grace Costa’s life long love affair with horses, passed down by her father through a sophisticated photographic homage. Costa explores her innate captivation with horses through her lens, photographing unbridled horses in one of Canberra’s most treasured sites. Bringing them out of their natural surroundings. Costa explores the form and character of the horses she has selected for this series. – Nishi Gallery New Acton

HORSE on show from 2nd – 20th November 2016 – LAUNCH PARTY 6-8PM