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The world's first art exhibition for dogs opens in London

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There’s something in London for everyone, they say. There’s art of all types, there’s music of all genres, there’s plenty of shops, there’s culture and there’s history. Every human can find something to cater to their taste in the capital.

But what about your dog?

For your cultural, art-loving, Picasso-obsessed pooch that’s bored with the park, the world’s first contemporary art exhibition designed especially for dogs opened its doors today in London.

Commissioned by MORE TH>N pet insurance in conjunction with artist Dominic Wilcox, the art and installations at the exhibition wouldn’t look out of place in contemporary galleries the world over - but they’re specifically designed to interest dogs.

The #PlayMore campaign is created to encourage owners to spend more time playing and interacting with their pets than, say, sat on their phone or in front of the television.

Artist behind the exhibition, Dominic Wilcox, says “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.”

The exhibition promises five different installations based on dog’s favourite things to excite and stimulate your dog, the first being “Dinnertime Dreams” - a ball pit in a giant dog bowl for your dog to frolic and play in!

The second is named “Cruising Canines”, which is a car-ride simulator. The dog sticks its head out the window of a 2D car, as a fan filled with favourite scents such as steak and old shoes blows the air through their hair and up their noses.

“Watery Wonder” is an installation of dancing water jets that jump from one dog bowl to another aimed to give dogs the chance to chase and play with them.

Nick White created “Catch”, which is a series of frisbees dancing around a large television screen, designed to captivate dogs,while various other artists contributed paintings and drawings which include:

-“Scent satisfaction” by Claire Mallison, a woodland scene created using only the colours on a dog’s colour spectrum.
-“Post” by Joanne Hummel-Newell, which is an interpretation of a dog’s excitement when letters fall through the letter box.
-“Drumstick Park” by Robert Nichol - literally a painting of drumsticks in a park. Two of a dog’s favourite things, right?!
-“Field” by Michelle Thompson, which is a visual representation of dog’s movements while out on a walk.

I went along to its opening day to see what it’s all about.

Maybe as expected, a lot of the dogs seemed more interested in each other rather than the installations themselves; though it was still fun to see them interact and play with each other, with the odd dog jumping in and out of the ball pit. The art pieces were displayed close to the floor at the majority of dogs’ eye levels, however I didn’t see any of them stop transfixed to look at them.

Perhaps it is hard to find a way for dogs to be interested in art, but the #PlayMore event did achieve its goal. It allowed dogs to play and interact with not only each other but other owners and other people, too. Every owner there (I went sans-dog) seemed like they were having a wonderful time, getting to know other owners and other dogs, and taking pictures of their pups making new friends.

In the session I went to, most dogs would only take interest in the art if their owner urged them to; the dog bowl full of little brown balls to look like treats was certainly the most popular option.

And also - who doesn’t love a room full of dogs?! Even if they are tinkling on the art.

The #PlayMore exhibition is on until tomorrow afternoon at 4:00pm. There are a limited number of walk-ins for you and your dog to go an have fun with art, water and other dogs of all shapes and sizes!

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