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Anatomically Painted Animals for Charity

Updated: Nov 30, 2022

gillian higgins horses inside out painted model horse, muscles

November 2016

The painted pony trail raised a total of £41,000 for World Horse Welfare following the Auction at the BT Tower in London on 4th November. Gillian's anatomically painted pony raised £2,600 for the invisible horse campaign.

gillian higgins horses inside out painted models elephant

October 2016 - Elephant Inside Out

Following the auction at the Crucible in Sheffield, Gillian's anatomically painted elephant raised £6,000 for the Children's Hospital Charity as part of the herd of sheffield stampeed project!

gillian higgins horses inside out painted model  horse by Gillian HIggins muscles

March 2016 - Raising Awareness working with World Horse Welfare

This horse is one of many who will be joining a trail of painted horse sculptures at the 2016 Badminton Horse Trials as part of World Horse Welfare’s campaign to raise awareness for the plight of horses everywhere. From the horses left suffering for weeks on end, to those working many hours every day on the streets of Choluteca in Honduras or Cape Town in South Africa, to those transported long distances across borders to uncertain futures and those who sadly are sometimes found too late. The focus this year is on foals, rescue and rehoming, working horses around the world and campaigning to improve laws to protect horses

May was created by sculptor and designer, Judy Boyt and this one has been painted by Gillian in her own signature style emphasising the fact that, ‘Understanding Anatomy can Improve Performance, Training, Management, Welfare and Reduce the Risk of Injury. The horses will be auctioned off in the autumn, the proceeds going to the charity.

  gillian higgins horses inside out leonardo foal model life size

January 2016 - Creating "Leonardo"

Gillian paints a life-size model foal with the immature skeleton showing growth plates, muscles, tendons, ligaments, nerves and parts of the digestive, respiratory and cardiovascular systems. Leonardo is used as a teaching aid, at anatomy exhibitions and as a mascot at large Horses Inside Out events. Leonardo is available for hire.

Aptly named after Leonardo Da Vinci. As well as being one of the greatest artists of the Renaissance, Da Vinci was also a pioneer in the understanding of anatomy. Sadly he died before his ground-breaking work was published. His treatise was subsequently lost until it was rediscovered 400 years later!!

August 2015 - Anatomical Artist Gillian Higgins paints a Horse RUSH!

Gillian paints a life-size model horse commissioned by Equissage. Vicky Archer, Marketing Director at Equissage, said:

"Gillian, what can I say?? I said I wanted wow on our trade stand and I got it! When we came up with this idea, I underestimated the impact it would have on the people visiting the stand. People actually come onto the stand to visit the 'Harry anatomically painted horse'. A brilliant masterpiece and so amazing. Thank you."

January 2014 - Bare Hare!!

And Now for Something Completely Different... Bare Hare Inside Out!

horses inside out Gillian Higgins Anatomical Artist hare bare

There was strange goings on in Bunny towards the end of January!  A very large fibre glass hare arrived in the back of a white van and was unloaded into a, conservatory at the back of a bungalow in Bunny, Nottingham! Said hare, was one of many to be painted and take part in the Cirencester March Hare Festival launched on March 29th, the idea being to raise money for the Gloucestershire Wildlife Trust. 

So, why in Nottingham,  for a Festival in Cirencester? And why into the Horses Inside Out Headquarters conservatory? Well, Gillian Higgins, founder, artist and creative director of Horses inside Out lives in Bunny, was a student at the Royal Agricultural University, is now an Alumni, and has maintained very close links with the college. We actually still run a lot of our courses and conferences there!

gillian higgins horses inside out bare hair animal model painted

But, back to the hare! The idea behind the Festival is for the hares, sponsored by local businesses to be painted  by local artists displayed around the town then auctioned off in September to raise money for the Trust. (Because of her connections with the University Gillian is still classed as local!) Anyway, the hare arrived and the conservatory was quickly converted to a ‘hare studio’ and painting began. In true Horses inside Out style Gillian decided to paint the hare with his insides out! 

gillian higgins horses inside out bare hare animal model painted

No drawings! No sketches! No plans! Just away we go! Problem number one! January – no heating! Problem with paint drying – or rather not! Studio moved to lounge and fire lit! Painting continues! Skeleton, muscles, lungs, digestive system veins and arteries, diaphragm and furry face – they’re all there and slowly Bare Hare took shape.

A few weeks later after a somewhat traumatic journey in the back of the white van, the hare was delivered to the college. On March 29th he was unveiled at the mad Hatter’s Tea Party and now sits resplendent on the croquet Lawn just out side the Bathurst Wing. (The other 30 or so have colonised the town centre!) If anyone happens to be in the vicinity between now and September do go along and take a look. You can pick up a map of the Hare Trail from various shops in the town. 

Just one more thing! Bare Hare has now been immortalised in the form of a canvas painting. If anyone would like one just take a look at our online shop.

Stephanie Martin

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