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Sentience: hidden lives Exhibition in Perth

This weekend sees the opening of the second Sentience: Hidden Lives exhibition in Perth, Western Australia featuring work by a variety of international and Australian artists across a range of mediums including Lorikeet Gaze a Digital paint media on Giclee print by Philipp Pahin (below)


Sentience is an annual initiative of the great Perth-based not-for-profit organisation Animal Rights Advocates Inc. (ARA) who campaign for the abolition of animal exploitation. Now in its second year, Sentience: hidden lives aims to be a thought-provoking and ultimately rewarding display of art exploring the feeling, perception and individuality of animals other than humans.

The exhibition will be open for viewing from 10am-6pm from Saturday 7 January until Friday 20 January at Kurb Gallery: 310 William Street, Perth, Western Australia. A special closing night event will run from 6pm-9pm on Friday 20 January which offers attendees the chance to meet exhibiting artists.

This year’s theme of hidden lives asked artists to consider the hidden natures and experiences of sentient creatures other than humans, particularly those of free-living and farmed animals. Exhibition Curator Jonathan Hallett said that he was excited by the diversity of art on display in this year’s exhibition:

We had a wonderful response to our call for submissions and will be exhibiting pieces from local, interstate and overseas artists. The range of mediums and the differences in artwork combine to create a broadly appealing event which has something everyone can appreciate. One of the best parts of being curator is seeing first-hand the variety of responses artists have to the theme of the exhibition. I’m happy to say that all the artwork on display is of a very high standard and approaches the topic in a distinctly individual manner, prompting the audience to consider each piece on its own merits. I’m sure visitors to the exhibition will find themselves inevitably reflecting on their own response to the pieces and recalling aspects of their own encounters with our fellow sentient beings.

What does sentience mean to curator, Jonathan Hallett?

Sentience refers to self-awareness and the ability to experience a range of sensations and emotions, of feeling pain and suffering, and of experiencing a state of well-being. Sentient animals are aware of their surroundings and of what happens to them. Research is showing us that the lives of animals, including farmed animals, are much more complex than we previously understood. Research suggests that their social groupings, communication, feelings of pain, fear and anxiety, and the positive feelings of pleasure and play are vitally important to them. It is these ideas of animal experience and personality that we wish to capture with the work of Sentience: hidden lives.

Artwork is available for purchase, with participating artists including:

Tarsh Bates and her in vitero node:


Erin Burnett has her Free Range Eggs series of photographs, including this one:


Plus two other series including 58 Billion Plus:


Alex Cearns from Houndstooth Studio with Hermie (photo on canvas):


Zaaron Crosby from Artless Impact online art gallery with Peacock in UV (photo on canvas):


Michelle Dawson with Velasquez' Pet 1, 2 & 3 (oil on gessoed card):


Nili Duvdevani with Look at the Moon (oil on board):


Susan Hauri-Downing with Salutations (photo book):


Stephanie Ives with Past-Present-Future (acrylic on canvas):


Cate Jones with Mum and Bub (fine line ink):


Loren Kronemyer with Gathering (digital print):


Bridget Laudien with her Lifers series of digital photographs:



Penny Maddison with Otter Significant Other (watercolour):


Lottie Moore with her photography including Excitement:


and Curiosity:


Philipp Pahin with his animal gazes including the first piece featured in this blog Lorikeet Gaze, as well as Magpie Gaze (oil on paper and digital paint media, Giclee print) below and others:


Helena Wadsley with Curious Lamb (digital video):


Karin Wallace with Reiquiae (lead, acrylic, organic compounds):


Yvette Watt with her Animal Factory series (Giclee print):


For more information:


Animal Rights Advocates

Sentience Exhibition catalogue (low resolution PDF)

Sentience flyer (PDF)

Last year's Gallery

For more Art as Activism see my blog on Sarah Kiser and Our Hen House's Art of the Animal section - featuring blogs on artists including: Ari MooreElektra KB, Jonathan Horowitz, Mariana CeroveckiSara Spencer, Sarah Kiser (yes, we all love her) Sue Coe, and many more.

If you are an artist and would like to get involved, see: Sentience for next year, Crusade Creative, get involved with PaperGirl Brisbane (or in your city), enter the World Wide Vegan Bake Sale t-shirt design competition, share this blog, support all the artists mentioned, and above all, create.

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