Occasionally activated by a horse and rider, Palmer’s work combines sculpture, soundtrack and performance and symbolises the new freedoms afforded to women in the war.
In spite of the nurses’ courage, the British Army initially refused to be associated with the liberated women of the FANY. So instead they supported the French and Belgian armies, running hospitals and driving ambulances. Palmer makes reference to their battle against prejudice through words drawn from sources including the diaries of FANY member Muriel Thompson.
Inscribed on the obstacle over which the horse leaps, phrases such as ‘woman saves man’ and ‘nothing special happened’ highlight the everyday heroism of women during the First World War.
Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and Yorkshire Sculpture Park, made possible with Art Fund support.