DOG SHOW at Radiant Gallery

DOG SHOW was designed and curated by children from Plymouth in collaboration with arts charity Effervescent and is on until 30 September 2016.


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Designed and curated by a group of nine and ten-year-old children from Plymouth and Radiant Gallery’s resident Miniature Dachshund, Beau, DOG SHOW is the latest in a series of shows created in collaboration with Plymouth arts charity, Effervescent.

The children considered how we relate to our canine companions – as friends, helper, protectors and even status symbols. They then curated the show, which features work by Plymouth-based jeweller Harriet Bedford, Plymouth-based artist Kevin Attwood, Cornish artist Emma Saffy Wilson, Annabel Harris, Gary Wiggins, Liam Ainscough, New York photographer Mitch Boyer and Sarah Britten-Jones.

This is the interpretation of some of the children who worked on the project – their thoughts on what it was like to curate an exhibition.


When I first came to Effervescent, I was amazed. The first installation we did was really fun. I worked on a zombie thing with Millie and Daniel – I was a zombie, and people came into the room and they got a tour into the hallway, but when they went in there the tour guide was eaten. Millie was creating atmosphere with the lights. The audience went to the back, and then we terrified the audience. We were learning how to make the audience feel something – in this case, petrified.

There was another one where I was a badger king. Me, Georgie and Chloe were badgers, and we took turns – audiences came in (I brought them in with my badger hat on) my nose was a doorbell. They sat on the cushion. I gave them the last golden apple in existence – I told them to choose whether to eat it or not. Then Ellie was a big fluffy giant fat dog creature, and she woke up and thanked them for not eating the apple. I enjoyed being the badger king.

When audiences come to see DOG SHOW we want them to feel excited by all the art. I think it’s a really cool show. My favourite bit of work is Mitch Boyer’s Big Viv photos, because his dog is bigger than other dogs. I like that because she is the boss of every dog. I like being the boss, too.

‘Big Viv’ by Mitch Boyer

Young curators introducing their work

Dog masks on opening night

Pooch photo booth (image by Emma Saffy Wilson)

Radiant Gallery at Derry’s Cross


When I first came here, I felt nervous but excited, and I was really shocked by all the amazing artwork in the gallery. When we started playing games and working on installations, I started to feel more comfortable, getting to know people made me feel a bit safer, like I was protected. I’ve never made an installation before. My favourite one was the haunted one I did with Daniel, Star and Laurence. I had to work on the lights and turn them off to scare the audience.

I also was an audience in a shoes installation. There were shoes trying to get out the gallery in a rush.

The lighting was really effective and I hadn’t seen anything like that before.

I really liked going to Woodside Animal Sanctuary. It was really interesting to see how the animals were cared for there. There were lots of different animals: chickens, rabbits, cats, kittens, dogs: it was really cool.

My favourite part of curating was working on the awesome installations. It never got boring. It was different every time.

I think the Dog Show audience will feel surprised by what we have done – the art works are really unique. My favourite piece of work is the giant dog nose created by Kev Attwood. I like it because you can tell he’s a happy healthy dog, because he has a wet nose. I’m just fascinated by wet noses.


Before I came here, I felt scared and not confident. I thought it would be just about art, but it’s not just about art. It’s about creating art, deciding things and much more. It’s not just about art.

My favourite work is the Mitch Boyer photographs they’re funny because the dog looks like he’s the boss of Mitch and she’s older than Mitch and she can boss him around. I also like the Swedish House Mafia video, because it’s cool – the dogs save the DOG SHOW at Radiant Gallery people that are getting hurt. I’ve never seen dogs save a person before unless they’re blind and it’s a guide dog helping them.

I hope our show will make people feel happy, loved, and I hope they will feel that it’s cool and loving – so they like it a lot.

I feel more now confident because I can read out loud in front of people I know everyone so I am not scared so say things to people and I can be more involved with more activities.

DOG SHOW is supported by Arts Council England, Plymouth University, and Plymouth City Council and is on at:

Radiant Gallery, 12 Derry’s Cross, Plymouth, PL1 2TE

Monday – Saturday 9am – 10pm, Sunday 11am – 5pm

Showing until 30 September, 2016.

Families, children and dogs welcome daily, entrance free of charge.

DOG SHOW also features as part of Plymouth Art Weekender 23 – 25 September, 2016