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Leap of Faith project at Yorkshire Sculpture Park combines equine therapy and contemporary art

18 Sep 2018

‘If we realise by ourselves how strong we are, then others will realise.’
Leap of Faith participant
 
Leap of Faith, a pioneering project at Yorkshire Sculpture Park (YSP), explores ways in which women who have experience of trafficking, domestic violence or mental ill health can use creative expression and equine assisted therapy to benefit wellbeing and creativity.
 
Responding to contemporary artist Katrina Palmer’s The Coffin Jump (2018) – a major co-commission with 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and YSP – Leap of Faith reflects the courageousness of the First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY). This extraordinary group emerged at a transformative period for women – moving out of passive domestic confinement to enter the battlefield on horseback and administer first aid – and inspired the creation of the artwork.
 
Led by YSP’s Art & Wellbeing Coordinator, Rachel Massey, Leap of Faith brings together participants from two local authority areas that border the Park, in partnership with Ashiana Sheffield, Kirklees WomenCentre, with Heidi Dawson from Glint [Horse Assisted Development].
 
Leap of Faith aims to help participants gain the confidence to express themselves, to develop positive relationships, and to build positive new memories. Activity includes creative sessions devised by the participants themselves in conjunction with lead artist Kate Genever and Palmer as well as equine therapy, which has been found to enhance positive behaviour and wellness. Further therapeutic support is provided by group analyst Jacinta Kent, and opportunities for reflection and evaluation have been offered by Dr Harriet Rowley, Lecturer in Education and Community at Manchester Metropolitan University.
 
Massey says: “At YSP, we use a range of approaches to help people engage with the art. We are interested in exploring ways to support people to engage with their own creativity and self-expression. This is a unique opportunity to work with women, therapists and artists and create something together, inspired by The Coffin Jump and other art at YSP.
 
“Throughout the project, we have explored themes of love, loss, friendship, loneliness and connection. The individual moments of breakthrough are too numerous and too personal to describe, but it’s true to say that this project will stay with all the participants for a long time to come”.
 
Heidi Dawson from Glint says: “Our horses are the true educators in our work. They don’t do role play, so noticing how they respond to our behaviour and energy offers us a unique insight into ourselves and our relationship to the world”.
 
Leap of Faith is part of YSP’s Arts & Wellbeing programme, which takes inspiration from the New Economics Foundation’s ‘Five Ways to Wellbeing’ and is informed by work with experts including artists, mindfulness practitioners, musicians, yoga teachers and others.
 
ENDS
 
Notes to Editors

 
The Coffin Jump – Co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW, the UK’s arts programme for the First World War centenary, and YSP, made possible with Art Fund support, Palmer’s The Coffin Jump takes as a point of departure the role of an extraordinary group of women in the First World War. Combining sculpture, soundtrack and performance, The Coffin Jump symbolises the new freedoms afforded to women in the war, with specific reference to the all-female First Aid Nursing Yeomanry (FANY). The work is occasionally activated by a horse and local rider who gallop across the Park and make the jump. A symbol of independent mobility and action, capturing the emergence of female emancipation, the galloping horse also echoes the death of Emily Davison who famously stepped in front of the King George V’s horse at the Epsom Derby in 1913. Founded in 1907, Captain Edward Baker’s conception of the FANY was of women on horseback riding to the rescue of fallen men in the battlefield. Although the FANY ultimately drove motored ambulances, their role was and continues to be as powerfully independent and transformative as this original vision. The Coffin Jump can be seen and experienced at YSP from throughout 2018/19. The Coffin Jump is co-commissioned by 14-18 NOW and YSP, made possible with Art Fund support. Special thanks to Sir David Verey, The Henry Moore Foundation and The Clothworkers’ Company. With additional support from Melanie Gee, Larissa Joy and thanks to Midge & Simon Palley, Nicholas & Jane Ferguson and Tony & Tiger McCallum.
 
Katrina Palmer lives and works in London, and teaches Fine Art at Central Saint Martins. Recent solo exhibitions include The Time-Travelling Circus: The Recent Return of Pablo Fanque and the Electrolier, at Temple Bar Gallery, Dublin, Ireland, 23 February–21 April 2018; The three stories are flattened (Void, Derry, UK, 2016); The Necropolitan Line (Henry Moore Institute, Leeds, UK, 2015); End Matter, an Artangel commission combining an audio installation on Portland, Dorset, UK, with a published book and a radio broadcast (Book Works, BBC Radio 4, 2015); and Reality Flickers (MOT International, London, UK, 2014). Other exhibitions include The Weight of Data (Tate Britain, London, UK, 2015); MirrorCity (Hayward Gallery, London, UK, 2014); Dr Sinclair’s Drawer (Flat Time House, London, UK, 2014); From Morn ‘Til Midnight (Supportico Lopez, Berlin, Germany, 2013); and Katrina Palmer Presents (Transmission Gallery, Glasgow, UK, 2011). Palmer’s publications include The Fabricator’s Tale (Book Works, London 2014) and The Dark Object (Book Works, London 2010). Her writing is also represented in Artists Writing, 2000–2015 (Paper Monument Publishing, New York 2016), The Object: Documents of Contemporary Art (Whitechapel Gallery/MIT 2014), and Modern British Sculpture (Royal Academy of Art, London 2011).
 
Glint [Horse Assisted Development] is a small social enterprise nestled in the beautiful Pennine countryside, overlooking Huddersfield. Their aim is to support people in making positive changes to move them forward as individuals, teams, or organisations. The team at Glint don’t teach people to ride – Horse Assisted Development involves ground-based activities with horses and ponies that are designed to help participants identify and develop their own skills and strengths and so realise their potential.
 
14-18 NOW is a programme of extraordinary arts experiences connecting people with the First World War, as part of the UK’s official centenary commemorations. It commissions new work by leading contemporary artists across all art forms; the programme has included over 200 artists from 35 countries, with commissions taking place in 160 locations across the UK. Over 30 million people have experienced a project so far, including 7.5 million children and young people. 16.7million people took part in LIGHTS OUT in 2014, and 63% of the population were aware of Jeremy Deller’s 2016 work We’re here because we’re here. The UK tour of the iconic poppy sculptures by artist Paul Cummins and designer Tom Piper have been seen by over 4 million people to date. 14-18 NOW has won many awards for its work, including the National Lottery Heritage Award 2017, a Museums Heritage Award and the Chairman’s Awards at The Drum Social Buzz Awards 2016. It is supported by the National Lottery through the Heritage Lottery Fund and Arts Council England, by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, and by additional fundraising. 14-18 NOW is a member of the First World War Centenary Partnership and an independent programme hosted within Imperial War Museums.
 
The First World War Centenary Partnership was established by IWM (Imperial War Museums) in 2010 and to date has over 2,500 members from across 45 countries. The Partnership is presenting a collective programme of activities and events to mark the centenary, developed at grass roots levels. This diverse and far-reaching programme has been developed to reflect how people want to remember, commemorate and debate the conflict in their own communities, in a way that is meaningful for them. 1914.org is the official website for the First World War Centenary Partnership. Throughout the centenary new events and activities will be added each week to the events calendar, produced in partnership with Culture 24.
 
Art Fund is the national fundraising charity for art. In the past five years alone Art Fund has given £34 million to help museums and galleries acquire works of art for their collections. It also helps museums share their collections with wider audiences by supporting a range of tours and exhibitions, and makes additional grants to support the training and professional development of curators. Art Fund is independently funded, with the core of its income provided by 139,000 members who receive the National Art Pass and enjoy free entry to over 320 museums, galleries and historic places across the UK, as well as 50% off entry to major exhibitions and subscription to Art Quarterly magazine. In addition to grant-giving, Art Fund’s support for museums includes Art Fund Museum of the Year (won by The Hepworth Wakefield in 2017) and a range of digital platforms. Find out more about Art Fund and the National Art Pass at artfund.org
 
Founded in 1528, following a merger between the Fullers’ and Shearmen guilds, The Clothworkers’ Company is one of the ‘Great Twelve’ Livery Companies in the City of London. Our original purpose was to protect our members and promote the craft of cloth-finishing within the City. Today, we support textiles through technical education, skills development, and historic conservation. We also proudly participate in Civil Society in the City, foster fellowship and encourage trusteeship among our members, and make charitable grants to social causes through The Clothworkers’ Foundation (a registered charity).
 
The Henry Moore Foundation was founded by the artist and his family in 1977 to encourage public appreciation of the visual arts. Today we support innovative sculpture projects, devise an imaginative programme of exhibitions and research worldwide, and preserve the legacy of Moore himself: one of the great sculptors of the 20th century, who did so much to bring the art form to a wider audience.

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Leap of Faith Press Release

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Leap of Faith. Courtesy Glint and YSP. Photo © Ruth Ellen Brown Photography

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Katrina Palmer, The Coffin Jump, 2018. Courtesy the artist, 14-18 NOW and YSP. Photo Danny Lawson/PA

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Leap of Faith. Courtesy Glint and YSP. Photo © Ruth Ellen Brown Photography

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