Exhibition Review: Dog Pit

Dog Pit, a group show featuring works by TR Scully, Zac Penny, Zoe Gow, Te Ariki Campbell, Olyvia Hong, and Claudia Edwards runs until the 8th of March and is open any time by appointment. The show came together in a clustering around Scully’s painting featuring a dog fighting pit and slowly built upon it, showing an elaboration of the pit in all its menace.

In the midst of an industrial train factory-like building, Satchiandsatchiandsatchi (SSS), an artist-run gallery and studio brought a creative oasis into the dull environment of Parnell’s The Strand five months ago. Sounding like a parody of the Saatchi&Saatchi gallery, SSS offers an honest and raw experience in comparison. Its openness provides support to more diverse artists and their practices, and is also a space for creatives to make their ideas come true. Founders Ben and Seb Martley also hope SSS will help artists earn money and remuneration for their artistic labour.

After a confusing journey through Parnell (thanks Google Maps) I arrived at the gallery, warmly welcomed by Ben. I was late to the appointment but he was still very friendly and walked me through the exhibition telling the stories behind each work. Most works were made in a naïve and carefree manner – quite the contrast to what was depicted in the paintings. You will find yourself looking at angry dog fights and a gory betrayal of one’s own kind. “A pit can be a social setting or a state of despair amongst other things. Some dogs in the show take the form of clouds to safely float over the pit, but not all the dogs have this option”, said Ben referring to Hong’s painting. It’s not an exhibition that has a linear narrative. From the surface it looked like an exhibition with a loose connection between the works, however viewers will find themselves drawing narratives of their own.