Andrea Roe and Cath Keay have a shared interest in improving animal welfare and representing the animal voice. They first collaborated on CARNEVALE (2017) and have since created the project Equity for Pigs with writer Abi L. Glen.
Andrea is a lecturer at Edinburgh College of Art. Her artwork examines the nature of human and animal biology, behaviour, communication and interaction within specific ecological contexts.
Cath is acting director of MA Arts and Humanities at Duncan of Jordanstone College of Art. Her art explores hands-off methodologies: how natural forces, or chance actions can determine the final output.
CARNEVALE is a film and a newspaper publication which brings together the voices and expressions of artists, animal behaviour scientists and farm animals. It details an event which took place at Easter Howgate Farm, Scotland’s Rural College in April 2017.
Artists Andrea Roe and Cath Keay worked together to design and produce sculptural play objects for pigs. Throughout the process of creating these objects, the artists were thinking about what matters to pigs and carefully crafted objects that the pigs could interact with and which were ergonomically designed for them. They chose materials that they thought the pigs would enjoy smelling, tearing apart and eating and named the objects as if for a carnival or fun fair: Pig Ker Plunk, Popcorn Piñata, Sweep Sensation…The intention was to make objects which would appeal to both humans and pigs so that the experience would be a shared one and mutually enriching.
The pigs’ participation was integral to the project. This is captured through Norrie Russell’s photographic documentation in a tabloid style newspaper and in Brian Mather’s film, made accessible via QR code. CARNEVALE showcases the pigs’ intelligence, curiosity and capacity for play, giving them visibility and a means to communicate.