Emma O’Brien reveals warmth and heart in the dogs of “Black Series,” a collection of photographs that captures the essence of these under-adopted hounds. As a shelter dog advocate, O’Brien is always looking for ways to creatively encourage people to take home a pup in need, particularly ones that are given a bad rap for the colour of their coat. “I’m very aware of the problem of black dog syndrome,” she says. Abbreviated as BBD (big black dog), it’s a global predicament in which their forbidding hue is seen as a bad omen, or just aesthetically too plain. “Coupled with the fact that people often find black dogs difficult to photograph, I felt this project would be a great way to draw attention to the problem.”
The subjects had already been adopted when they sat for O’Brien’s camera, each one brought in by their forever owner. Through her lens she sheds light on their outer beauty while imaginative descriptions speak of their inner persona. There’s Lena, a part-time therapist; Casper, an older gent who likes the finer things in life and insists on silk sheets; and Bentley, a closet Madonna fan. “I made a point of photographing the dogs close up, focusing on the unique detail of their faces and capturing them with eyes to camera,” she says, “so that people viewing the images can look directly into their souls, connect with them as individual creatures rather than ‘just a dog.’”
All images courtesy of Emma O’Brien
We are thrilled to introduce Dog-Friendly, a collection of city guides for dog-loving people, created together with our long-time contributor, photographer Winnie Au, and fellow enthusiasts, indie publisher Hoxton Mini Press. Available for purchase here.
August 25, 2021
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