Just been packing up a commission to go to Denmark – a tiger which I started before the kennel and finished recently. I’m trying to think of a name for him. The first tiger I made was called Buddy because he contained several Jenga bricks advertising Budweiser…I’m also working (slowly!) on a version of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers for the TRAIL exhibition at the Devon Guild of Craftsmen, Bovey Tracey in November – it’s an ongoing project that I’m gradually adding to as I find appropriate materials.
But most pressing is a commission portrait of Audrey Hepburn – currently not going too well. Problems:
- My supply of flesh tones are limited and I’m waiting to find some more natural colours. Wooden beads tend to have more subtlety than plastic and fade to lovely shades.
- The client has asked for humour using quirky materials – its a delicate balance to keep Audrey beautiful yet witty
- The picture includes Audrey’s hands and the cat – subsequently her actual face is smaller than how I’m used to working so the component materials need to be scaled down accordingly. Difficult to not end up using just beads…(boring)…
I will persevere…
So… my kennel is still in Frome, Somerset. I have no idea what will happen next! Apparently, the project has been fraught with difficulties – lots of red tape.
The original plan was to have the kennel shells made by men in prison to learn a transferable skill for later life. (This was one of the things that attracted me to the project.) This idea had to be shelved due to health and safety.
At the last minute, artists were informed that they had to have block off the entrance to their kennel with board bolted on the front. As most of the kennels are positioned outside within a station complex, the police identified the risk of someone trying plant a bomb inside them. I didn’t want to cover my kennel door as it would ruin the aesthetics – and cause damage, so the organisers have been seeking an indoor London location. It was to be in The Town Hall Hotel but they pulled out of the project at the last minute!
What happens now? Your guess is as good as mine!
Disappointingly, there is still a hitch in finding a London site for my kennel!
However, I have just heard from co-ordinator Drew that until a London site can be secured, my kennel will be situated in the window of an ‘up-market pet shop’ in Frome, Somerset. It will be there over this Easter weekend for the Frome Independent market. Please visit if you can!
“The Frome Independent, a food and design market, has put the place firmly on the map, attracting thousands on the first Sunday of the month from March to December.” – Sunday Times: Best Places to Live in the South West
From the organisers:
BowWow Haus London is a collaboration between pet charity Blue Cross, American not-for-profit organisation Outdoor Arts Foundation and photographer Drew Gardner. A network of architects, artists and designers have created bespoke kennels to be displayed throughout London from March 2018, culminating in a charity auction of the kennels.
This stylish and original collection will be exhibited in two of London’s premier stations – St Pancras International and Stratford International – and also at The Town Hall Hotel (where mine will be) until April 23rd. They can then all be viewed together at the gala auction at the St. Pancras Renaissance Hotel, London on April 26.
On-line bids can be made prior to the live auction.
Please go to http://www.bowwowhauslondon.co.uk/auction
Today my kennel was collected to start its journey to London. Exciting!
It was great to meet Drew Gardner and Jay Goulde (organizers of the Bow Wow Haus kennel trail) and to hear about the trail history, the amazing other kennels, the auction, the logistics etc. Jay (from the US) organized his first charity art trail fifteen years ago and has been doing it ever since. So lovely to meet them both!
Leaving the kennel in the lorry was like saying goodbye to one of my children! I hadn’t planned to go to London for the auction on April 26th but now, I simply have to go!!
I now know that my kennel is to be positioned in The Town Hall Hotel, Bethnal Green, London from 19th March until 23rd April. Please visit if you can!
It will be part of the trail of kennels all over London, prior to their auction in aid of the Blue Cross pet charity on April 26th at the St Pancras Renaissance Hotel.
The original Town Hall building was constructed in 1910 when a new confidence and wealth in the Borough led the Council to spend lavishly on fine architects, craftsmen and artists to decorate it. More building was commissioned in the 1930s with the splendid addition of Art-Deco interiors which made the Town Hall Hotel a famous film location.