animals in our art collection


A while back I noticed something. A lot of our art somehow involves animals (also a lot of typos, but let’s not confuse the issue). It was never deliberate. I never once thought oh, it might be cool to start an animal art collection. It turns out I have been turning into the crazy cat lady without even noticing.

The mother of my best friend in primary school had a big-time rabbit art collection. Ceramics and all kinds of stuff. You’d wake up in the night, all of seven years old and there would be rabbits everywhere. I suppose they do breed, rabbits. They were classy rabbits, too, antiques and shit from all over the world.

Our house is too small for a dog (or so I’m told, although I’m sure I could fit one in), so maybe subliminally that’s where some of this stems from, but I don’t really think so. We have two real cats, Sylvie and Bax. Mogwai (see below) never saw his third birthday. That cat was crazy, and left the biggest grieving hole in my heart I’ve ever had, as stupid as that might sound.

This is one of Matt Couper’s dogs, c. 1999 or so (Matt, you can post a comment here if you want to set me straight). He is the first thing I see as I descend the stairs in the morning. We got the gramophone and dog above as as sort of a tribute to Matt’s dog.

And this is what we have come to call Ohakune Dog, by Leigh Mitchell-Anyon.

Sorry about the shit photo with the bookshelves and me in the background. Just squint your eyes and pretend we’re not there.

And some dogs in the Joycam polaroids here. Fritz and Pavlova (below left).

And here is Pavlova again (above right), a photo I keep of her beside the bed, along with a photo of Simon when he was younger and looked like a lion.

Pavlova was our family dog. She died at the age of 15 or so, the day that Turin Brakes came to town, c. 2003 (I know this because I remember crying at the gig, and the mirrorball sparkling wetly above me). She was one hell of a girl. She used to like to sleep in the middle of the road and make cars drive around her.

And to your right is Black Cat, by Mark Rayner.

Scroll down a bit and you’ll meet Mogwai, mentioned above. Photo by Jo Russ. I can see him from my bed, and some nights I still remember to say goodnight to him. Sometimes I point him out to Sylvie and Bax and say say hello to Uncle Mogwai. I know he is not really their uncle, but it saves me explaining the full story.

And it’s not just dogs and cats. These are Emma McCleary’s wallpaper birds (below right). Emma and I used to live together, once upon a time.

And here is a platypus-type creature (below left) with an otter in the background. I have forgotten who did this, and have buried the paperwork. I bought it online from a gallery in Auckland a couple of years ago when I was going through a bout of insomnia. I woke up in the morning and remembered I had bought it.

And this is a cartoon we pulled out of a New Yorker calendar. It still cracks me up every time I see it. In case you can’t read the writing it says: I had my own blog for a while, but I decided to go back to just pointless, incessant barking.

I think this might be one of the funniest things I have ever seen.

And that ought to do it. There is also a sort of faux leather-clad papier mache camel we inherited, but my camera died before I could get the photo of it. I took it as a sign.

Mostly we try and hide the camel round at our neighbour’s house for ‘safekeeping,’ but he keeps finding his way back to us.


One Response to “animals in our art collection”

  1. Haha. You certainly have a lot of animals. I never took count before. Personally I’ve always loved the birds and the cat print, though I can know look at one of my own 🙂
    Though my fave is the photo i secretly say hi to every time i visit (though not so secret now). Hi Mogwai. Definitely Uncle Mogwai 🙂

    P.s as for your camera dying when it came to the camel, yes Katy that was a sign from above. That camel was not meant to be photographed. Ever.

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