Night Horse examines the powerful currents between horses as they negotiate consent and desire during mating season. The viewer is drawn inside the kinetic swirl of the herd where hooves, flicking tails, and outstretched limbs offer an intimate encounter across the species divide. Shot in the heat of a February summer’s night, on the artist’s birthday, the charged atmosphere is palpable. Modern equine reproduction is now often a supervised insemination process, or between a mare and stallion who are performing on cue. Night Horse captures a rarely seen ritualised courtship, where the protagonists experience heightened states of being ‘for themselves’.
Gebhardt says, “The images are raw, showing the mess of body fluids and muscle, giving vivid dimensions to the physical language of the body as an archive of story, to suggest a dramatic arc in horse terms.”
The image titles – Midnight, Fetlock, Halo, Parallax, Zenith, Umbra – evoke the night, the horse, or the universe, interweaving the anatomical with the universal, the body with the stars. In observing these complex dynamics, Night Horsechallenges the dominant anthropocentric view, capturing the undeniable force of non-human narratives.
Night Horse (2019) continues themes explored in Gebhardt’s recent video installations Lovers (2018) and Evanescence(2018), both selected for the 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, and There Are No Others (2016) presented at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne. They thread a trajectory of connected ideas concerning nakedness as the barest form of identity, deep time cycles of matter – life, death, decay.
In 2022 Gebhardt was winner of the William and Winifred Bowness Photography Prize, Monash Gallery of Australia, VIC and a finalist in both the National Photography Prize, Murray Albury Museum of Art, NSW and the Josephine Ulrick and Win Schubert Photography Award, HOTA, QLD. Gebhardt was the recipient of the inaugural Adelaide Studios Artist Residency 2019, presented by the South Australian Film Corporation. The resulting moving image work, Small acts of resistancepremiered at Samstag Museum of Art and the Adelaide Film Festival 2020. Gebhardt’s video installations Lovers and Evanescence, were both selected for the 2018 Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art, and There Are No Others 2016 premiered at Gertrude Contemporary, Melbourne.
A Sidney Myer Creative Fellow and Masters graduate of AFTRS, Gebhardt has exhibited at M+ Museum, Hong Kong; ACMI, Melbourne; MONA, Hobart; Monash Gallery of Art, Melbourne, Carriageworks, Sydney, Melbourne International and Sydney Film Festivals and screened on SBS and ABC. Gebhardt created visuals for Kate Miller-Heidke’s 2016 Helpmann Award-winning concert with the Tasmanian Symphony Orchestra at Hobart’s MOFO Festival. Gebhardt directed Second Unit on Justin Kurzel’s Macbeth (2015), premiering in competition at Cannes Film Festival.