CASULA POWERHOUSE BLOG: KATHLEEN LINN (CURATOR)

Kathleen Linn and Sophia Cai were curators in search of a project when they watched the dog show mockumentary Best in Show.  The idea of a whimsical dog themed exhibition started in jest that day but the more they thought about the importance of dogs in art, culture and life the more an exhibition seemed like a great idea.

“There are connections throughout history that have continued to happen” says Kathleen.  “I think dogs for a long time were much more kept as work dogs, whereas now they're very much pets for many people. They are really important companions and provide a real closeness, almost like children.

And they fulfil a lot of roles. There are guard dogs and companion animals like seeing eye dogs. I think that non-verbal communication and companionship is really important. It's really interesting how much that connection exists between people and dogs, and for how long that has existed”.

If the plethora of dog videos on the internet is any indication Kathleen and Sophia aren’t the only ones fascinated by dogs and their relationships with humans.

“As much as the world is going to change, dogs and animals and cats have definitely secured their part in our digital lives as well. At the end of the day we’re animals so we feel connected to other animals”.

The exhibition includes work from some artists already well known for their canine related practice like David Capra and Anastasia Klose but after much research Kathleen and Sophia have discovered work from Clare Peake with her dog themed clay pots, Dion Beasley from the NT with his idiosyncratic drawings of camp dogs and Abdul-Rahman Abdullah’s exploration of dogs within ritual and mythology as well as work from Noel McKenna, Kenny Pittock, Adrian Stoikovich, Natalie Thomas and Danielle Reynolds.  “We have a range of different mediums in the show - sculpture, video, painting, quite a few drawings and Danielle Reynolds, who has a painting in the show, will be doing a performance at the opening too”.

In a departure from the usual catalogue statements each artist has contributed a short story or anecdote about a dog they’ve encountered in their lives, making entertaining and heartwarming reading.

Kathleen and Sophia hope that people will have fun with the exhibition and perhaps see the importance of their animals in a new light. And maybe go home and give Fido a hug.

Every Dog Will Have Its Day opens with a dog friendly, fun filled event on July 22nd and continues until the 17th September.

Artists – Abdul-Rahman Abdullah, Dion Beasley, David Capra, Anastasia Klose, Noel McKenna, Clare Peake, Kenny Pittock, Danielle Reynolds, Adrian Stoikovich, Natalie Thomas

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