Public Art Research Archive, Sheffield Hallam University

Mandy Burton
'White Horse of Heeley', 2000
Heeley Millennium Park, Sheffield
paint on concrete

Heeley Millennium Park. Behind St Ann's School, access from carpark to the Community Centre on View Road, opposite Heeley City Farm.
(A-Z p.99 6E)

A large, simplified image of a horse carved into the surface of a grassy hill at the top of the park. It is best viewed from a distance. Originally white, at the time of writing (2003) the horse is painted with rainbow colours. 7.9m high x 13m wide
[Update: 2006] The horse is now painted to resemble a fairground carousel horse.

The idea for the horse came from the close proximity of Heeley City Farm which was subject to an arson attack in 1995, as a result of which a white cob, known as Barney, died. The artist has stated that 'The White Horse of Heeley' is intended as 'a memorial to Barney but also to horses everywhere'. [1]
It was designed between June 1999 - April 2000 and unveiled on May 1st 2000.
The making process involved digging out the turf to a depth of 6 inches, a layer of hardcore was tamped down, and then ready mixed concrete was poured on and beaten down by a team of fifteen or more people. A chalk-like appearance was achieved with smoothed concrete, painted white. The following year hand prints were added in light grey paint giving a dappled effect. The 'Horse' has subsequently been painted as a zebra, and in, May 2003, painted with rainbow colours. The surface of the carving is very smooth and local children enjoy sliding down it. The project has been featured in the local press and on the local TV programme 'Calendar News'.

Onsite Plaque:

for more on White Horses see: a website devoted to White Horses compiled by Bill Daly.

[1] letter from artist

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Last updated February 25, 2009