Tooth and Claw: An A to Z of animals in art is an exhibition drawn almost
entirely from the Gallery’s collections, which demonstrates the rich and
varied manner in which animals have functioned as symbols in different
societies, as well as the extremely diverse way in which artists have been
drawn to this theme throughout history.
The exhibition has sections devoted to themes of Animals in History (this
includes religious and classical examples), Town and Country Animals,
The Bull Ring, Call of the Wild, The Pavilion (Indian miniatures and
Japanese ukiyo-e prints from the 18th and 19th centuries), Earth Sea and
Sky, Transformations and a Pet’s Sitting Room.
Earth, Sea and Sky demonstrates that New Zealand art includes a diverse
range of art works on the theme of animals and shows that Maori and
Pacific tradition also is rich in animal symbolism
The exhibition also includes loans from several contemporary sculptors,
and a life-size bull by Michel Tuffery which the Gallery has commissioned
for its permanent collection.
Children are a particular consideration in Tooth and Claw. There is a group
of original Disney celluloids of cartoon characters on show, and a selection
of children’s work displayed in a special room, where viewers enter
through a child-sized door.
The exhibition is being held in conjunction with supporting activities linked
to Auckland SPCA and Mother Earth, who sponsor the World Wild Life
Fund children’s mural competition.
An extensive children's programme and a series of public talks is being
held at the Gallery over the summer holidays. Special Collections at
Auckland Central City Library is also holding a complementary exhibition
called Captured in print: an alphabet of animals which runs from 23rd
December to 17th March 2001.
William Hodges and Sawrey Gilpin
Two tigers in a landscape, 1773
oil on canvas,
Auckland Art Gallery Toi o Tamaki