Imagine a museum with interactive art installations, multimedia, and beautiful unique art pieces on the wall. Now, get down on all fours and call your favorite dog over to enjoy it with you. That’s right, I’m talking about the world’s first ever interactive art exhibit for dogs.
This summer in London, pet insurance company, More Than, sponsored the creation and design of a dog exhibition, or I should say an art exhibit for dogs! During the weekend of August 19th, Dominic Wilcox’s brainchild came to life. Wilcox is an artist and an inventor so this was right up his alley of unique and extremely creative experiential art. He himself created 3 of the 8 exhibits. All aspects of the art installations were run by veterinarians who consulted on the safety and physical and mental enjoyment for the dogs.
More Than collaborated with Wilcox as designer and curator on this in order to promote their #PlayMore campaign, which encourages “dog and cat owners everywhere to spend more time playing with their pets.” More Than’s campaign site says “play helps to stimulate them physically and mentally and we believe happy pets are healthy pets”. We, of course, couldn’t agree more! The #PlayMore Pledge means you will dedicate an extra 15 minutes a day to playing with your pet and for everyone who takes the pledge More Than will donate 1£ to the RSPCA Trading Limited, a trading subsidiary of the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. Their goal is to raise 20,000 pledges, “20,000£…That’s enough to build a sensory garden – the perfect playground for rescue dogs to scamper and sniff in, and help fund a cattery refurbishment.”
OK, so what in the world does an interactive art exhibit for dogs look like?
Canine patrons enjoyed romping around in a big 10-foot-wide ball pit called Dinnertime Dreams, made to look like a dog’s food bowl filled with dog-food shaped brown balls. They sat in Cruising Canines, a ply board cut out of a car with open windows and enjoyed the wind from a fan blowing scented air of meat and old shoes.
Wilcox’s third design was a splash zone with dog bowl
sprinklers spurting water as dogs played in the grassy patch, called Watery Wonder. Some exhibits utilized multimedia such as Catch by Nick White; dogs could watch a frisbee bouncing back and forth on a screen right at their eye level. From Joanne Hummel-Newell, Robert Nicol, Michelle Thompson, and Clare Mallison there were art pieces hung at dog-eye-level and created with a dog’s vision in mind using only grays, yellows, and blues, a palette which caters to the colors dogs see best.
Wilcox states; “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 instead. 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.”
For more information and to watch videos of the experience, visit More Than’s site about the weekend’s popup dog exhibit. If any of our UK Petzicamily members were able to catch it let us know! You lucky dogs, you!