The Horses Stayed Behind

The Horses Stayed Behind by Cat Auburn for SCAPE Public Art Season 2016

This work was a result of Cat Auburn’s time as the Sarjeant Gallery’s artist-in-residence at Tylee Cottage in Whanganui. The works appear in SCAPE Season 2016: Presence courtesy of the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui, the artist and Bartley + Company Art, Wellington.

Cat Auburn The Horses Stayed Behind (detail) 2015, horsehair, copper wire. Photo: Cat Auburn. Courtesy of the artist and Bartley and Company, Wellington.

A highly evocative work by UK-based New Zealander Cat Auburn that served as a memorial to the 10,000 horses that left New Zealand for the front lines in World War One (with only four returning). The five-metre-long work featured 500 flower rosettes painstakingly crafted from horse hair, similar to those made from human hair in Victorian times as memento mori. Horse riders and owners donated the hair for each of the rosettes across the country with each rosette identified for viewers of the project. The work was made by Auburn during her time as Tylee Cottage artist-in-residence with the Sarjeant Gallery Te Whare o Rehua Whanganui in late 2014-2015. The Sarjeant Gallery toured the project in 2017-2018.