Remembering the lost horses
Ten thousand horses left New Zealand for the front lines in World War I— only four returned. It was this fact that inspired New Zealand artist Cat Auburn to create her unique work, titled
The Horses Stayed Behind, which is now showing at Tauranga
Auburn approached horse owners from across the country in
2014 to donate a small clipping of full length hair from their horse or pony’s tail which she then made into rosettes, flowers made in the style of
Victorian hair memorials. Reminiscent of a garden in bloom, these exquisitely detailed rosettes are presented across five horizontal linen canvases.
Each horse and rider who participated in the work is identifiable, in stark contrast to the anonymous fate that awaited thousands of the horses and men who left New Zealand for the war. Each donation of horse tail came to Auburnwith a story. Some with small notes of support, otherswith cherished photographs and heartrending tales of riders and horses that had died.
With upcoming Armistice Day memorials on November 11 this work is even more poignant. Visit before December 2 to appreciate the work and the history inspiring it. This is a touring exhibition developed by the Sarjeant Gallery in Whanganui and supported by Friends of Tauranga Art Gallery.
The gallery is open daily from 10am to 4.30pm and is free to visit.
■ For more info visit www.artgallery.org.nz/see
Detail of Cat Auburn’s art work created with horse hair, copper wire and unbleached linen.