A horse and rider are to jump a sculpture as part of an art installation commemorating World War One.
The work by UK contemporary artist Katrina Palmer has been commissioned by 14-18 NOW, who are behind a five-year programme of artworks inspired by the centenary of the conflict.
The work, called The Coffin Jump, will be unveiled next month at Yorkshire Sculpture Park in Wakefield.
It commemorates First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY), an exceptional group of women whose role was to rescue injured men from the battlefield.
Founded in 1907 by Captain Edward Baker, his original vision was of women riding on horseback, although in actuality they drove motorised ambulances.
The artwork sits in parkland and will occasionally be jumped by a local horse and rider. Sitting above a trench, it “represents the new challenges and freedoms afforded to women in the war”, as well as invoking mortality.
The park say that the “activation” of the horse and rider jumping the obstacle will symbolise new beginnings, as the “woman and horse cheat death”.
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Katrina Palmer is an artist known for building sculptures using words, often merging written works with visual.
She has drawn from sources including the 1918 diaries of FANY member Muriel Thompson.
FANY faced prejudice during the war, initially being rejected by the British Army and opting to support French and Belgian troops instead.
Hand-painted on the fence will be phrases such as “woman saves man” and “nothing special happened”, which highlight the everyday heroism of women during the period.
FANY continues today as the Princess Royal’s Volunteer Corps and are the longest established uniformed “military” voluntary organisation for women in the world and the only all-women unit remaining in the UK.
Most recently, FANYs were deployed following the terrorist attacks in Manchester, Westminster and London Bridge, and the Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.
The Coffin Jump, which is co-commisioned by 14-18 NOW and the Yorkshire Sculpture Park — an open air gallery — will be at the park from 16 June 2018 to 16 June 2019.
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