Signage for Changing Lanes 2020 Andrea Gardner and Brit Bunkley

Animals Make Us Human *

Animal companionship is an integral aspect of life in NZ. In particular, our relationship with dogs is unique, the result of 15,000 years of getting to know each other. The author of Dogs Never Lie About Love, Jeffrey Masson, points out that, “dogs don't care about our status, our colour, our ethnicity; the biases, prejudices, and presuppositions of humans are foreign to dogs. Our cross-species friendship is a universal relationship that cuts across all cultures and continents.”

Interestingly, during the Covid-19 shutdown pet adoption rates went up significantly as people searched for comfort and companionship with animals.

Many historic cities have sculptures of animals imbedded in their architecture, whether it be in the form of grotesque gargoyles or impressive lions, bulls and horses perched on the facades of churches, palaces and government buildings. These magnificent creatures were often symbols of power, strength and protection.

Our intention is for these sculptures to be unexpected, quirky, surrealistic and playful. The chairs create a sense of “indoors” in an outdoor urban setting. The dogs might suggest city guardians or merely mischievous pets. And the fact that they are sitting on our furniture alludes to our close relationship with them.

*From the book by Temple Grandin Animals Make Us Human: Creating the Best Life for Animals

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© 2015 Andrea Gardner