Since becoming aware (around 20 years ago) of the many animal welfare issues in existence today, I have become what some might call - quite opinionated. Supporting animals in need is a must do as far as I’m concerned. We can all have our reasons, our drivers to contribute, to help. For me those reasons are somewhat irrelevant – what’s important is the impact that our help makes to the present individual animal and to the collective future generations of animals sharing this planet with us.
When thinking about the present individual and the future generations, I think Greek Animal Welfare Fund (GAWF) has got the balance just right. GAWF initiatives and programs have both an element of hands on direct and immediate help while also looking to raise more awareness of the need for improved animal welfare standards all over
But, what to do..
As an artist, I felt I could use my work to create a sculpture that would be exclusive to GAWF. The subject matter seemed perfect for my artistic style and having a wide range of animals that they help enabled me to choose those that complemented each other in the composition. So, the donkey, dog, cat and chicken became the stars of the piece. I also wanted to capture some of the unity those animals have in their desires for a good life and something to which we all could relate. Who hasn't looked up at the stars and wondered, hoped and reflected? And thus the name 'stargazing', the subject and the composition were created.
In practical terms my artwork is time consuming and process intensive. The original characters are sculpted in clay, and then moulds are made, then cast in plaster and then cast in Pewter. Finally everything is cleaned, polished, patinated, lacquered and fixed. For this piece I was lucky enough to get some recycled wood taken during the repair of Brighton Pier and this wood has formed the base.
I have only made three pieces - so it’s an extremely limited edition - in the hope that this adds extra value and interest. One of the pieces will be featured in a silent auction at GAWF's stand at Vegfest in Brighton – March 28th and 29th. Whether you are an art lover, an animal lover or both, I would hope you might consider bidding and in doing so helping GAWF continue their invaluable work. Damian Harrison