Photograph by Benjamin Benschneider/OTTO

Companion Species (Underbelly), 2018

Companion Species (Underbelly),
130 × 183 × 136 in.
Aromatic cedar
Funding for this piece was provided in part by the Samuel H. and Patricia W. Smith Endowment and members of the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at Washington State University, Pullman, WA; and through support from The Ford Family Foundation and the Oregon Arts Commission.
Photograph by Benjamin Benschneider/OTTO

I am interested in how an underbelly is both the soft fleshy vulnerable part of a body, but also how it is associated with dark hidden areas. Lately, I have been reflecting on dogs—canis familiaris—as pets, mythological guides, and first teachers. Companion Species addresses the reciprocal relationship humans have with canines throughout history; this story is one of ignorance, stewardship and reciprocity.