The Human Animal Exchange – Is it Animal Magic?

Dr Pauleen Bennett, Associate Professor in the School of Psychology at La Trobe University spends her free time hanging out on her farm with her dogs, cat, horses and goats. Kat Bennett, Early Years Health Promotion Coordinator at Gateway Health has a very special bond with her miniature Daschund, Pappi, while writer/director of the gorgeous puppet show, Picasso and His Dog, Sarah Kriegler found inspiration in the real life story of the 20th Century artist and the Daschund, ‘Lump’ that wandered into Picasso’s home and became his companion for 17 years.

The connection between animals and people that creates an environment of wellbeing and creativity is the topic of the talk, Animal Magic, at Arts Space Wodonga from 6pm-8pm this Thursday, 23 June. It is the second in the HotSpot Talk series presented by HotHouse Theatre and La Trobe University Albury Wodonga campus and will be lead by HotHouse Artistic Director, Lyn Wallis.

The talk is a precursor to the Lemony S Puppet Production of Picasso and His Dog, that will have its world premiere at The Butter Factory Theatre from Wednesday 29 June to Saturday 2 July. The show combines puppetry and live performance and tells the story of a man and his dog and the deep love and art their friendship inspired.

‘We’re very excited to have Pauleen, Kat and Sarah on the panel and have them share the way they have explored this amazing relationship that can grow between humans and animals.’

Dr Bennett is the inaugural Chair of the Australian Anthrozoology Research Foundation, a non profit foundation to set up to raise money to support students investigating the potential benefits for human health of engaging with companion animals.

She also acts as President of the International Society for Anthrozoology and serves as associate editor for the journal Anthrozoös.

Kat Bennett previously worked at the City of Wodonga and co-ordinated the pilot program, Paw Pals, which aims to strengthen social connections with older adults by matching volunteers with elderly pet owners.

In July 2013, she won a 10,000 scholarship to help her study public health in Mexico for her work on walking to school, pets and people and healthy together programs. She travelled there in the summer of 2014 where her focus area was on the human animal bond throughout Mexican history. She also discovered that there were some amazing animal assisted therapies and a strong connection with animal gods.

Kat Bennett also also combines her major passions of yoga and the human-animal bond by teaching yoga as a component of a local equine therapy program. She will be bringing Pappi, along to the evening.

Sarah Kriegler will talk about the story of Picasso’s real-life relationship with his dog ‘Lump’ which inspired the show, and how the show was made.  Sarah will also bring Lump along to the discussion, so bring the kids along to meet Lump in person.

(Pictured above, HotHouse Artistic Director, Lyn Wallis gets to know Kat and her miniature Daschund, Pappi.)

Tickets for the talk are Full $30, Concession $25, HotHouse Subscriber $25 and children aged 14 and under $20, and include supper and a glass of wine or a non-alcoholic beverage.

Buy tickets now for HotSpot #2 Animal Magic

Buy tickets now for Picasso and His Dog.


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