Dex by Lisa Jose


Lisa Jose

East Wall, Belconnen Arts Centre

Opening: 6pm Friday 5 April 2024

Exhibition: 5 April – 19 May 2024

Domestic dogs are traditionally understood in the context of their relationship to humans: companions, assistants, accessories or protectors. Lisa’s life-long love of dogs has led her to explore the complexities of our connection. Reciprocal love and empathy with our dogs flourishes despite the fundamental imbalance in our relationship. They are part of our families, but their adoption is always initiated by humans.

‘Dog’ presents a series of linocut portraits of pet dogs, and asks the viewer to contemplate preconceptions about their place in society. Our understanding of domestic animals is taken for granted because their nature and purpose are products of human agency over millennia. This body of work isolates dogs from their adoptive human contexts and invites observers to understand them on their own terms, devoid of the trappings of their constructed identity.

With respect and affection, these portraits elevate dogs above the roles they occupy in human lives. They are presented as autonomous, but nonetheless seeking connection to the viewer through their unflinching gaze. Interrogative, playful, pleading, grumpy or impassive, each dog asks the viewer to consider their identity beyond utility or companionship. And, of course, to recognise that they are all very good dogs.

About Lisa Jose

Lisa Jose is a Canberra/Kamberri-based printmaker and maker. Completing a PhD in archaeology and palaeoanthropology in 2011, she worked for many years on excavations in Syria and Türkiye. Her artistic practice is informed by her fascination with the material construction of social identity, and the ways in which the identities of non-human animals are understood in the human sphere.

Instagram: @lisajose_printmaker