Pet Shop is a large body of work that is comprised of various works by Malenfant-McNeice, most notably her undergraduate thesis collection of paintings, and her prints from her first solo-exhibition TRESPASS.
Having a focus on animal welfare through multimedia paintings allows for exploration through the pitfalls of pet keeping. They highlight the faults of what is considered common practice, question civic policies, commercial standards and humanity’s failure to upkeep the promise made during the process of domestication. Contemporarily, people make said promise again each time we adopt and buy animals we choose to care for. The abstract and representational approach combined with collage, allows for reference a wide range of established facts, and oil paint, to express the upsetting and real lack of research done by many people who forget to love, or at least provide for, each and every animal in our care.
Each depiction of an animal is purposefully chosen- such as domestic cats, betta fish, ball pythons, brachycephalic dogs. These pets and more suffer from the misconceptions. Somehow many think it is fair to leave a domesticated companion animal outside, with no control over their predator instincts, and no consideration to the addition of a new animal in the local ecosystem. Others think it is fair to have their animals life spans shortened by the minimization of their needs to be a singular fish in an aquarium of a certain size that has been cycled. Various owners of all types of pets choose them for their appearance without question or ignore side effects that the breed or colouration have on the life span of said pet. The work draws upon these misconceptions or ignorance towards these animals, to showcase them in a vivid manor.
Above. Wild I. Kate Malenfant-McNeice. Oil Painting over Mixed Media Collage. 7'x5'.2019
Below. Wild II. Kate Malenfant-McNeice. Oil Painting over Mixed Media Collage on Canvas. 6'x5'. 2020.