One Language Project

design: Miranda Loud

One Language Project – An Ongoing Gathering of Animal Portraits, Essays By Pet Owners, Short Films About Interspecies Bonds…all challenging the viewer to imagine

“What would the world look like if we learned and felt that other animals were someones instead of somethings? If, instead of drawing lines, we drew circles? If we trusted the language of emotion as a common language within all species?”

This project is very close to my heart. Since I was as young as I can remember, I have felt that other animals have complex emotional bonds with one another and, in the case of companion animals, with their owners. Most dog owners will agree with this, and so I decided to launch this ongoing project of photographs, essays, short films and public exhibits with portraits of dogs and essays by their owners. Our first exhibit will be held February thru May 2013 as part of Illuminations in the Yawkey Clinic at Massachusetts General Hospital.

We, as a species are uncomfortable with our animal nature, and our fate is integrally tied to the fate of the other species we are eradicating at an alarming rate. We are currently in the sixth largest extinction period in all of history which is why this project and the other projects of Naturestage is so vitally important. The arts CAN be a force for change I strongly believe that the arts and empathy for other species must be integrated into education at all levels and used to keep us attuned to our own healing capacities within our communities.

“Any society, any nation, is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members ; the last, the least, the littlest.” –numerous world leaders have said this in different ways, including Ghandi, Truman, Churchill

This project has its own website

and will have notecards and posters available soon for purchase on the Naturestage store  to spread the word about the project.

Below is the first exhibition  at the Dakota Puffin Dog Boutique on Charles Street in Boston. Our next exhibit will feature twenty dog portraits and essays by the owners at Mass. General Hospital from February thru May 2013.

Images by MIranda Loud for the One Language Project at the Dakota Puffin Dog Boutique on Charles Street in Boston

For the Love of Dogs is part of the One Language Project, an art installation for public spaces highlighting the one language we share across species, the language of emotion. It is an ever-growing collection of photographs with accompanying stories of what our dogs teach us, and how expanding our circle of commonality with other species can make us a healthier society overall.


Add your story to ours: join the project for $275 and enjoy the following benefits:

  • One large 12×12 or 12×18 canvas-wrapped color photograph of your dog by photographer and Naturestage founder, Miranda Loud (additional photographs in different formats also available)
  • a $75 tax-deduction towards Naturestage’s mission to use the arts and film to widen empathy and compassion for other species
  • Optional and anonymous inclusion of your dog’s photograph and accompanying story in the expanding online and physical art installation in hospitals, banks, libraries, schools and offices

Artist Statement:

A cat wakes its owner during a fire. A dog pulls people to safety from a train. A whale “thanks” its rescuers. These stories, and hundreds like them, show that animals have empathy for humans. What if we imagine that our current imbalance with nature could be solved by re-discovering our long-lost kinship and commonality with other creatures? What if acknowledging the one language of emotion we share is a key to reducing our current exploitation of the natural world?

What better way to start this One Language Project than with “For the Love of Dogs”? The non-profit organization Naturestage which I founded in 2006 has led me to use the arts in myriad forms to explore our relationship and obligation towards other species – whether honeybees or elephants. Bringing it even closer to home is this ever-expanding exhibit giving other species the spotlight seen through the power of the animal gaze and their owners’ tributes.

This installation is one way to bring attention to the consciousness of other species in our busy and human-centric world. Our treatment of other species reflects our treatment of our own. The motivation to be global stewards can only become a reality through a core connection – the language of the heart.

– Miranda Loud, photographer