7 Dec 2019 – 15 Feb 2020

Regular opening hours

12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00
12:00 – 18:00

Free admission

TOMA Project Space

England, United Kingdom


Travel Information

  • Heygate Avenue
  • Southend Central

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Celebrating all kinds of artists’ best friends Pets is a collection of artworks made with participating practitioners sidekicks.


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.


Emma Edmondson

Lolly Adams

Exhibiting artists

Amy Pennington

Nia Metcalfe

Lucy Evetts

Matei Tigareanu

Ruth Hazel

Ruth Jones

Laur Mar

Nikola Skora

Tess Tallula

Sara Trillo

Josh Langan

Gail Howard

Tia Howell

Lee Stevens

Chris Alton

Micky Graham

Emma Edmondson

Chloe Myndiuk

Bella Milroy

Katja Larsson

Louise Ashcroft

Lucia Coppola

Sally Hackett

Campbell Mcconnell

Sarah Pritchard

Lolly Adams

Dominic From Luton


Hannah Devereux

Ciara Movana

Rachel Steele

Blandine Martin

Lydia Blakeley

Talitha Bell


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