They say never work with children or animals, but a new exhibition opening at the Museum of Sydney tomorrow 13 December ignores that advice, capturing our love of dogs, cats and all creatures great and small.
The new Tails of the City exhibition is set to kick off the school holidays with its pet paraphernalia, quirky film and portraits of Sydney’s most colourful pets and their owners that celebrates the bond between them.
The family pet is for most Australians a part of everyday life, with studies continually finding that Australians are the greatest pet lovers in the world. Australia has one of the highest percentages of pet ownership, with two out of three households living with animal companions.
In NSW, there are 800,000 cats and more than a million dogs keeping us company and sharing our homes. People will be surprised to discover that birds and fish are even more popular pets.
Tails of the City is the first major exhibition to explore the bond between pets and owners and features a series of colour portraits telling the stories of pets and their owners in Sydney today, along with more than 60 photographs from private and public collections dating back to the mid 1800s.
Open throughout the summer holiday period, the exhibition is sure to prove popular with people of all ages, and children and their parents with its hands on activities and humorous tales from some of Sydney’s more eccentric pet owners.
Tails of the City explores Australia’s love affair with pets from the First Fleet when Governor Arthur Phillip arrived with his two favourite greyhounds, through to virtual pets of the future.
The exhibition shows that pets have the ability to love and comfort us but also divide us with debates about responsible pet ownership featuring regularly in the media.
Tails of the City also looks at the billion dollar pet industry and the range of products and services now available from pet cafes to pet day care and even dog beer!
From everyday pets to famous pets, Tails of the City is an exhibition for the whole family, exploring our passion for pets through photographs, pet paraphernalia and film.
Tails of the City is at the Museum of Sydney from 13 December 2008 to 22 March 2009, open daily 9.30am to 5pm. For more information about the museum visit http://www.hht.net.au/museums/mos