Animals in our imagination

By: Sarah Jane Barnett


“Trees, birds, other animals, grasses, rivers … experience but cannot imagine us. We imagine but too often do not really experience them.” - Joan Retallack, poet

I often think about the ways poets write about the nonhuman world. I don't think that the visual arts are that different: how we imagine animals often tells us more about ourselves – our culture and fears and desires – than the animals themselves. Some of these images are playful; others are sad and absurd. My favourite ones are about the connection we feel between ourselves and other animals.

Subjects: animals, imagination, whale, bear, moose, puffer fish, penguin, snake, tiger

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