Big things come in little packages, and the same can be said about Noel McKenna’s art. Using a tile as a canvas, these paintings barely reach 15cm high. Each piece reflects the hazy humdrum of a dog’s life, uncluttered and unfettered, with its subject at the centre. Whether humorous and forlorn, these ceramics tread the fine line of whimsy.
McKenna started off studying architecture at university, but soon dropped out for art school instead. After frequenting a paint-it-yourself ceramic shop for ten years, he eventually purchased his own kiln and now he paints in his studio instead of amongst gossiping ladies who lunch. His previous collections include copies of lost dog posters, detailed down to the correct phone number for retrieval. Dogs tied up, waiting for their owners return, are also a recurring theme. His most recent exhibition, Tied Up Dogs Rose Bay, featured a few oils on plywood, lending a warmth and depth of colour to the expectant dogs.
McKenna sees the beautiful in the mundane, making the onlooker pause for a moment at an unremarkable scene made remarkable. An old and fat Jack Russell, a gangly greyhound, a poodle in a jumper. Although affection-inducing, these pictures highlight the quiet sadness and dependency of dogs. McKenna lived in Sydney, along with Melman, a greyhound, and Rosie, a Yorkshire terrier cross.
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