The stunningly beautiful Karabakh horses are truly wonderful creatures that leave us awestruck, and this breed of horse has been valued by humankind for many centuries.
Latvian artist and livestock specialist Dace Strausa never ceases to admire these magnificent animals with high intelligence and incredible memory skills. For many years, the Karabakh horses serve as a boundless source of inspiration. Her paintings have been successfully showcased in Baku and Shusha.
In her interview with AZERNEWS, Dace Strausa shared her story of how horses have become an integral part of life.
Q: How did you come to love horses?
A: Horses have always been an essential part of my life. My grandmother was also very fond of horses. I believe that my interest in horses has an important mission. I am eager to learn more about them and devote most of my life to these magnificent animals.
Q: Why do Karabakh horses inspire you?
A: The Karabakh horses are often called golden ones. Undoubtedly, the golden-red color of the Karabakh horses is impressive, but that's not all. The Karabakh horses are extraordinarily strong, graceful, fast, and smart. They have a subtle soul, and a playful character, especially stallions. This horse breed has a special desire to trust a human. I prefer to draw horses in motion, which makes it possible to show their grace and beauty.
Q: In 2021, your paintings depicting Karabakh horses were presented in Shusha. Please, share your impressions of the exhibition.
A: My paintings were on display in Shusha last year. The exhibition was organized by the Latvian Embassy for which I would like to express my gratitude to the Deputy Head of the Latvian Mission in Azerbaijan Vija Buša. A series of paintings about the Karabakh horses became very symbolic, showing a kind of return of the horses to their homeland, a place where they always belonged.
Q: You once said that you dream of opening a horse museum in Shusha. Could you tell me a little bit about your idea?
A: A museum of Azerbaijani horses remains my dream to this day, even though I thought of everything in detail. Walking around Shusha, I came across the ruins of the former estate of the Azerbaijani poetess Khurshidbanu Natavan. At that moment, I realized that after the restoration, this place would be perfect for the museum. It is worth noting that the daughter of Mehdigulu Khan, the last ruler of the Karabakh Khanate (1748–1822), was engaged in horse breeding.
Q: Are you planning to show your artwork in Azerbaijan once again?
A: I would very much like to visit Azerbaijan again. I would be very glad to contribute to the development and preservation of the Karabakh horses since I have the appropriate education and experience in this field. As for my paintings, I can say that the exhibition is planned for this year. At the moment, there are several of my paintings in Azerbaijan, which will be presented for the first time in the country. I really hope to show my artwork there. We'll wait and see.