Thomas Huxley's nineteenth century view that "nature is nasty and indifferent, and mortality is the sword forged by man to slay the dragon of its animal past" has evolved into that of an age of empathy in the twenty-first century. An artist's role is to tease the imagination, and hint at possibilities, while science demonstrates through repeated observations and solid data. Through Lisa Roet's own limited research into animal behaviour, she has attempted to follow the path of the scientist through the eye of the artist and produce a series of moments of observation to support the idea that we are living in "the age of empathy".

Working in both marble and bronze, Roet has captured these moments such as the apes hand; outreaching and searching mirroring our own, operating as a tool for communication, to convey compassion and aggression. The hand holds information through its palm lines and through its fingertips about genetics and biological connections while outstretched it can be seen as a symbol of unity and social cohesion. This body of work is developed from references to Roet's research into animal behaviour, from the Snow Macaques found in the hot springs in Japan, the Golden Monkeys of Yunnan, to the research by Dr Jane Goodall concerning inter-animal communication and in particular, her research of the Chimpanzee named David Greybeard. Through David Greybeard, Dr Goodall had her first communication with Chimpanzees in what was to become her seminal research into Chimpanzee behaviour and in turn a reflection of human behaviour.

Opening Hours

  • Monday - Friday, 10am - 6pm
  • Saturday, 10am - 4pm
  • or by appointment


  • Corner of Kitchener and Wellesley Streets
  • Auckland, 1010