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Luis Power


Luis Power

Artist biography

Luis Power was born and educated in Canberra, Australia. He began working in photo as well as digital media in 2008 before undertaking degrees in Visual Arts (Photomedia) and Arts (Film Studies) at the Australian National University in 2011.

Luis’s work often approaches the creation of art from a critical perspective, attempting to question or draw attention to underlying social and cultural constructs and collective thinking.

Artist work: Legend's Phar Lap

Medium: Video/sound installation
Date: November 2012

Artist statement

It is only through the death of the physical that a legend can truly be constructed and immortalised.

Legend’s Phar Lap seeks to engage with the nature of Phar Lap as both a physical horse, presented through photographs and objects, and a legend with connected themes and identity, cultivated today by curators and interpretative texts. The installation presents an image indicative of Phar Lap that melts away against a muffled soundscape referencing the horse’s races through radio as a medium. The installation was completed with a chalice filled with the stained water used to create the video piece. In doing so, Legend’s Phar Lap presents Phar Lap first as a physical horse before melting away into the Australian consciousness to become an intangible but consumable legend, represented by the chalice. It was only through the death of the physical horse that his legend can truly exist.

Artist inspiration

This work is in response to Phar Lap’s heart, as seen in the National Museum of Australia's Landmarks gallery. The heart was interpreted not only as a representation of the physical horse but also as part of a modern recreation of a legend that far exceeded Phar Lap as simply a fast racing horse. Phar Lap’s heart was taken to symbolise a legend that encompasses a national identity seemingly occupied with ideas of defiance, perseverance and strength in the underdog.