12 May – 22 July 2012 

Artists today are depicting animals in their work with remarkable frequency. The exhibition ANIMAL/HUMAN presents a selection of works by contemporary Australian artists that explore our complex, contradictory and sometimes contentious relationship with other species. Their work variously touches on the psychological, ethical, philosophical, scientific and cultural parameters of the relationship. A number of works continue traditions whereby animals are depicted in symbolic or totemic form, are endowed with human qualities, or stand in for the self. Works range from playful to provocative, while others refuse easy categorisation.

ANIMAL/HUMAN includes works by artists such as Lisa Adams, Adam Cullen, Marian Drew, Julie Fragar, Fiona Hall, Pat Hoffie, Janet Laurence, Sam Leach, Sonia Leber and David Chesworth, Laith McGregor, Noel McKenna, Tim McMonagle, Danie Mellor, Dennis Nona, Patricia Piccinini, Ryan Presley, Alick Tipoti, Jenny Watson, and Michael Zavros.

Curator: Michele Helmrich

Learning Resource

  • Listen to or download One Health panel discussion on Friday 18 May here
    Chaired by Angus Fisk with Prof Maxine Whittaker, Prof Malcolm Jones, Michele Helmrich and Jenny Watson.

Public Programs

Reframe: Animals and Difference panel discussion
Friday 25 May 5.00pm – 6.00pm

Diversity Week 2012 Unity in Diversity
In the ANIMAL/HUMAN exhibition, we are confronted by images of dangerous creatures, strange birds and alien sea-life, but we are also comforted by the companionship of some animals. Or are we simply seeing all that is dangerous, strange, alien and companionable in ourselves—and perhaps in others? To what extent might our reactions of fear, bewilderment and anxiety reflect our relationships within our own diverse society and our perceptions of disadvantage? How do we understand the role of companion animals in our community and their contribution to public health and social inclusion? *An Auslan Sign Language Interpreter will be present at this public program.

  • Listen to or download Reframe: Animals and Difference panel discussion here

Curator Talk
Saturday 12 May 11.00 am
Please join curator Michele Helmrich on a tour of the exhibition

Talking about Animals Seminar
Friday 11 May 4.30 pm – 6.30 pm 

Before the opening of the exhibition ANIMAL/HUMAN, please join our seminar exploring how artists represent and question our relationship with animals in contemporary visual art and screen culture. Chaired by Professor Gay Hawkins, Centre for Critical and Cultural Studies (CCCS), UQ, with a keynote lecture by Professor Barbara Creed, The University of Melbourne, followed by presentations by Dr Morgan Richards (CCCS) and artists Professor Pat Hoffie and Janet Laurence.


View the Adam Cullen Brumby T-shirt here


View 'Animal-human relationship explored in new exhibition' and download media kit here

Patricia Piccinini
Eulogy 2011
Silicone, fibreglass, human hair, clothing
110 x 65 x 60 cm
Reproduced courtesy of the artist and Tolarno Galleries, Melbourne