For ten years, photographer Shannon Johnstone has been visualising the tragedy of animal neglect and overpopulation, most notably in her series Landfill Dogs and Breeding Ignorance. Her latest series, Stardust and Ashes, strikes a brutally poignant note which came from an equally eloquent place. After her father’s death, she made a solargram using his ashes.
Moved by the act of mourning, Johnstone got in touch with Carteret Animal Shelter in North Carolina and took on some of the cremated remains of animals, with which she creates mesmerising cyanotypes reminiscent of the universe. The resulting prints are Prussian blue with flecks of white, like plumes of cosmic dust. Johnstone takes on an Anubis-like role, leading deceased dogs into immortality, provoking a sense of grief and loss in the onlooker. These images allow the deceased pets to finally be mourned and receive a reverence they never had whilst alive. They uncover our connection, not just as companions, but as living creatures who are all a part of the same cycle, capable of compassion and mercy.
Have you ever imagined Amy Winehouse or Nick Cave as a Chihuahua, Neil Young as a Vizsla, or PJ Harvey as an Afghan hound? That’s exactly what San Francisco-based artist Michael Gillette has done through his unique illustration project, blending beloved, iconic music legends, both past and present, with their dog counterparts. Pack of Dogs, our first foray into book publishing, is a celebration of pup and pop culture for music and dog lovers alike.
August 25, 2020