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Canine Culture: Contemporary Art For Your Dog


I could hardly believe it when I discovered that two of my greatest loves – contemporary art and dogs – would be uniting for one very special event: the world’s first contemporary art exhibition designed for dogs! Commissioned as part of MORE TH>N’s #Playmore campaign, the ambition of the exhibition was to raise awareness about the importance of mental stimulation and physical playfulness to the overall health and wellbeing of our precious pooches.

Artist, designer and inventor, Dominic Wilcox, created several interactive artworks, each based on activities that dogs enjoy and sensory input that their unique canine sensorial spectrum enables them to experience. Wilcox sought input from veterinary experts to aid his understanding of the stimuli, both mental and physical, that are most seductive and beneficial to dogs. Canines rely heavily on their olfactory and auditory senses to help them discover and delight in the world; visually they have a much lower resolution than humans and are limited to seeing only a reduced palette of greys, blues and yellows. A dog’s vision is quite blurred and lacks the ability to distinguish shades outside of their restricted colour range. Wilcox’s multi-sensorial, interactive installations, as well as the series of paintings by other British artists (Clare Mallison, Michelle Thompson, Nick White, Robert Nicol and Paul Blow) only utilise colours that can be perceived within a dog’s visual spectrum, and have been thoughtfully positioned low to the ground to capture canine viewers/participants.

Dinnertime Dreams

Dominic Wilcox’s Dinnertime Dreams is a 10ft dog bowl filled to the brim with “kibble” balls, perfect for plunging into and frolicking around in.

Play more exhibition Dog art

“Contemporary art has long been an important source of inspiration and fascination for humans, but never before has it been created with a view to drawing the same kind of emotions out of animals,” says Wilcox. “While it’s certainly one of the more interesting challenges I’ve faced in my career, it feels great to have created such a truly unique collection of interactive artworks for a completely new audience.”

dog in car

Wilcox’s Cruising Canines is an open car window simulator with an oversized fan that wafts aromas of old shoes and raw meat through the air to your dog’s delight.

cruising canines

In addition to presenting a body of work for both humans and dogs to delight in, this exhibition also serves as a fundraiser for the RSPCA. For every human who pledges to play with their four-legged best friend for more than 15 minutes a day, MORE TH>N will donate £1 to the RSPCA.

Dominic Wilcox

Another interactive work by Wilcox, Watery Wonder, features a quartet of dancing water streams that jump from one dog bowl to another.

Watery Wonder

The #PlayMore Dog Exhibition was open 19-20 August at 47/49 Tanner Street, Bermondsey, London.

About the author

Lupe & Oscar

Lupe & Oscar

Lupe Sanchez is co-founder and product specialist at PawPost. She and her cantankerous, but utterly loveable pooch, Oscar, trawl the pet communities in both London and LA to bring you tasty tidbits about canine culture, products they love, and general pet related goodness.

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