We are delighted to present Affectionate Portraits of Furship by Dargaville based visual and digital artist, Liam Astbury. Liam’s exploration into the relationships we share with our feline companions is not only endearing, it’s also very quirky – the purrfect exhibition to be part of Whangarei Fringe Festival 2022! Liam is a remarkable young man and we are very proud to support this part of his art journey, being his first solo show since graduating from North Tec in 2021 with a Bachelor of Applied Arts.
This is what Liam has to say about his work: “Domestication has led to humans providing the source of social support for animals. It has also led to animals beingssocial support for their owners. As a cat lover, I wanted to explore the relationships we have with our domestic cats through my art practice. My love of cats started from a young age. I have autism, and through my autism, I have found a special connection with animals, specifically cats and dogs. When I am feeling down or stressed, I spend time with them; I often look at videos of cats on YouTube when I need cheering up. I created the documentary and audio interviews Cats & Their People as my main body of work for our final exhibition at North Tec last year. The footage has been visually manipulated by adding a hand-drawn effect. The documentary is accompanied by a series of still images further highlighting the variety of relationships and interactions that we have with our cats, and the role they play in our everyday lives. Undertaking this work has further emphasised the bond that exists with the cats in our lives and the importance of these relationships. It also demonstrates that the pets we choose are as unique as we are.”