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Rose on Horseback with Tail (1974/2012)

Rose English

C-type photograph

York Art Gallery

Rose on Horseback with Tail (1974/2012)





C-type photographic print


76.2 x 50.8 (sheet size) cm


Presented by the Contemporary Art Society, 2015

Ownership history:

Purchased from the artist through the Richard Saltoun Gallery, London by the Contemporary Art Society, 25 November 2015; presented to York Art Gallery, 2015/16


York Art Gallery


Rose English’s productions feature a diversity of co-performers including musicians, dancers, circus performers, magicians and horses and often include elements from opera, circus and high society events. Rose on Horseback with Tail (1974) is a photograph of the artist from a still from Quadrille (1976), a film of one of the English's earliest performance works staged in the dressage arena of an Equestrian event in Southampton. Six women appear dressed as horses, wearing aprons that cover their upper bodies, leather harnesses, horse tails and hoof high heels. In an outdoor area marked off by ceramic horse figurines and watched eagerly by an unsuspecting audience, the women perform a dance based on dressage, their movements stilted by cumbersome hoof shoes. Full of beauty, humour, playfulness and criticism, the work highlights the fetishization of women’s bodies and explores issues around gender roles, where dressage can be seen as a metaphor for power struggles and relationships.

All rights reserved. Any further use will need to be cleared with the rights holder. Permission granted to reproduce for personal and educational use only. Commercial copying, hiring, lending is prohibited. The collection that owns this artwork may have more information on their own website about permitted uses and image licensing options.

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