Featuring videos of a swimming dachshund, conversations with cats and self-portraits with furry companions this show evidences the unusual ways that artists have collaborated with their animals. Expect to fall in love with a guard turkey named Gucio, question your bias against rats and be cuddled by a huge fantasy bird snake made to help with grief.
Whether it be representations of trusty steeds on Roman ceramics, William Hogarth’s painting of his pug or, more recently, Laurie Anderson’s emotional documentary Heart of a Dog - relationships between humans and animals are continually being explored throughout culture. There’s a reason why the internet is dominated by videos of animals, and why owning a pet is on the rise; they remind us to be present, to play, they are sentient beings, responding through instinct, animals aren’t self conscious, they’re loyal and just need the basics to be content.
In these works as in much of art history - animals are held in high regard for these very attributes, suggesting that there is much to learn from our cohabitants. With curated displays similar to a crufts agility course, this playful exhibition invites you to BE MORE DOG!
Pets is hosted by TOMA and supported by Arts Council England. The TOMA Project Space is an extension of the TOMA education programme which believes in accessible art education for everyone. In response to this there will be a zine making workshop, film screenings and Pets themed items to buy in the TOMA shop. TOMA artists also continue to make work and meet at the TOMA Project Space as part of the yearly education programme there.