Art Protest Uses Dogs To Promote Social Equality

by Lara Rutherford-Morrison

Can a bunch of short-legged dogs help to bring about social equality? I don’t know, but I’m thrilled to watch them try. On Sunday, an Australian artist gathered together more than a hundred dogs to promote inclusiveness and tolerance at a beach in Henley, South Australia. Any time lots of people with awesome dogs get together, I’m for it. And if it might make the world a little friendlier? Where can I sign up?

On October 9, surrealist artist Andrew Baines called together dozens of stubby-legged pups, including dachshunds, Corgis, Basset Hounds, and pugs, for a photo shoot that will serve as inspiration for a series of paintings set to appear at an upcoming exhibition. Baines told Mashable that the gathering was intended to represent “inclusiveness of minorities in society.”

“I’d always noticed sausage dogs trying desperately to run at the front of the packs, they have a very determined character,” he explained. “At times they would be knocked over by the bigger breeds and left floundering ... I realised they were a doggy minority.”

The idea that short-legged dog breeds represent human social minorities — and, furthermore, the idea that bringing all of these dogs together somehow promotes social equality for those minority groups — may sound farfetched, but, frankly, I’ll take it. Given the rancorous dumpster fire currently enveloping U.S. politics, I’m more than happy to see someone campaigning for change, not through yelling or insults or threatening to put opponents in jail, but through puppies. Adorable, happy, stubby-legged puppies. (In my world, all dogs are puppies, forever and ever.)

Just look at these silly goobers:


Baines had the dogs’ owners dress in suits for the occasion. He’s done a number of paintings in the past involving people in suits at the beach, “as a metaphor for corporate escapism,” he said. Presumably, these smartly-dressed owners and their vertically-challenged pups will in feature in paintings that play upon similar themes.

Seriously, I think these glorious, goofy dogs are the palate cleanser we all need right now. Can we find a way to have a continuous dogs-at-the-beach festival for the next month? Someone get on that, please.