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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 November 2005, 07:07 GMT
Pet subject for photo exhibition
Dogs sitting on a woman's lap
The relationship between humans and their pets is the show's theme
A photographer has captured the unique relationship between pet owners and their animals in her latest exhibition.

Sue Packer from Abergavenny, south Wales, has assembled 56 portraits of people and animals at a touring show, which has opened in Nottinghamshire.

As well as images of cats and dogs, "Pets" also shows spiders and snails and their relationship with humans.

The collection took the artist several years to build up. It will tour across Britain in 2006.

Ms Packer said: "The taking of the photograph is relatively easy.

"It is the research, the building of a trusting relationship with the subject and the waiting for the right moment that takes the time and hard work."

Poodle with owner
A poodle with owner

She explained why she chose the subject of human interaction with animals.

"Pets don't worry if you have a face like a bucket of slugs, or the morning breath of a donkey," she said.

"Not many marriages last the test of time but an animal friendship goes on forever."

She said that in some cases it took several weeks with each subject waiting for the right moment to capture on film.

However, some photographs are more spur of the moment with one featuring a goldfish taking its last unceremonious swim down the u-bend.

"It wasn't planned, the fish died just as I arrived and I quickly managed to take the shot," explained Ms Packer.

Girl with snails on her body
A little girl made garden snails her pets

Among her collection is a little girl who covered her body with snails from the garden and a teenage boy with a tarantula spider crawling on his neck.

"I loved the little girl with the snails," said Ms Packer.

"Her mum told her she couldn't have pets so she found her own from the garden."

Pets is at the Harley Gallery, Welbeck near Worksop in Nottinghamshire, until 24 December before touring to South Shields, Derby, Newcastle, Aberystwyth and Mold during 2006.

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