Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Canines in cars

Gallery DeNovo show to benefit Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley

Express Staff Writer

"Prospero" by Martin Usborne

A show opening Friday at Gallery DeNovo will surely go to the dogs.

"Mute, The Silence of Dogs in Cars," will feature the work of London photographer Martin Usborne. The show runs from Friday, Sept. 2, through October at Gallery DeNovo, 320 First Ave. N. in Ketchum.

Ten percent of proceeds from the first weekend of the show will go to the Animal Shelter of the Wood River Valley.

"There is an honesty to photographing dogs because they don't know what is happening. They are just looking at you," said Usborne during an interview in London posted on YouTube.

He said the show is about a feeling that a lot of people and a lot of animals have—"the feeling of being a little bit trapped and a little bit powerless."

The dogs in these staged photographs appear forlorn and expectant, like dogs left in cars always do, causing us to consider their human counterparts, many of whom also spend a great deal of time in automobiles.

Gallery DeNovo owner Robin Reiners said that the exhibit deals with the silence imposed on animals.

"Humans have drawn an invisible curtain between themselves and the rest of the animal kingdom, an artificial boundary that has caused very real suffering—animals are controlled, contained and muted," she said. "On another level, (Usborne's) images are about how we are often cut off from our true animal nature—our angers, fears and hopes. He brilliantly captures the pain and silence and fear of animals."

Reiners said pets from the animal shelter that are currently up for adoption will be on hand during the opening night of the show on Sept 2. She said dog owners are also invited to bring their own pets along for the exhibition.

"There will be treats for the dogs and wine for the owners," she said.

To accompany the gallery exhibition, Usborne's new book, "My Name is Moose, Modern Life Through a Dog's Eyes," will be available for purchase during the exhibition at Gallery DeNovo and at Iconoclast Books on Sun Valley Road.

For more information, call 726-8180 or visit

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