Katrina Palmer: The Coffin Jump

The Coffin Jump was created at YSP in 2018 as part of the 14-18 NOW arts programme for the First World War centenary. Katrina Palmer was awarded the commission to create an artwork and she took inspiration from the role of women during the war, and in particularly the all-female First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY). Founded in 1907 and originally intended to be on horseback, the FANY rescued wounded men directly from the battlefields, linking the front line with the field hospitals.

The installation combines sculpture, sound and performance, and symbolises the new freedoms afforded to women in the war. The performance aspect of The Coffin Jump occurs sporadically and involves a horse and rider galloping through the Park and making the leap over the work, which is also a fully size horse jump.

The text painted on the jump is a response to the diaries of the nurses, including that of Muriel Thompson, a Scottish motor racer and suffragette who joined the FANY in 1915 as an ambulance driver.

Read about the role of the FANY in The Independent

Find out more about the FANY

A very special thanks to all those whose support has enabled this commission: Art Fund, Sir David Verey, 14 – 18 NOW, The Henry Moore Foundation, The Clothworkers’ Company, along with Melanie Gee, Larissa Joy, Midge & Simon Palley, Nicholas & Jane Ferguson and Tony McCallum.