Renowned British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has recently brought the four horsemen of the industrial apocalypse to London, via his installation called The Rising Tide. The site-specific work features life-sized figures perched on the backs of horses, their eyes closed as they gaze out towards the Thames river bed. Their presence highlights the waterway's role in London, first as a place for commerce, trade, industry, and more recently, as a tourist attraction.
Taylor's 11-foot-tall sculptures symbolize the adverse effects that modern industry has had on our environment. “The Rising Tide questions our future relationship with fossil fuels,” he states. To depict this, the majestic manes and snouts have been replaced with oil pumps. “The corpulent businessmen astride two horses represent the position of power over these resources,” Taylor goes on to explain. “Their counterparts are two small children depicting future generations that will live with the consequences of overconsumption.”
The Rising Tide is on view until September 30 as part of Totally Thames, a month-long series of events centered around the river. The visibility of the installation changes with the ebb and flow of the water, but it's fully visible from the Vauxhall riverside walkway for up to two hours on either side of low tide.