Why dogs?

Sky (tail detail)
I’m not sure I have a satisfactory explanation as to why dogs should be specifically included or excluded from Transmutations as opposed to any other species of creature. I started with butterflies back in September (see The Butterfly Collector Sept 25) because of a strange curiosity I had about them. This lead to looking at recreations of each ‘species’ of collage that I discovered and a study on reproduction in my work.
It is this study on reproduction that has lead on to dogs. It could just have easily been pigeons or cats but dogs seemed to make more sense to me. That’s a weak excuse I know, but often I feel the need to investigate such weaknesses in order to examine why they pique my interest. Dogs, despite their many varieties, are all the same species and so the way they reproduce is very different.
Blue Grass (tail detail)
Transmutations is a series which looks at the way mutations in species have the potential to be recreated artistically through my collages. With these dogs I’m starting to look at which compositional elements from each pedigree should be continued into the composition of the next mongrel. For example Sky‘s tail has a white tip, Blue Grass‘s tail has a white ring at the base. Both these features are quite obvious compositional elements which go to make up the visual ‘personality’ of each dog. When I create a new mongrel from these two pedigrees I need to think about which elements it would be appropriate to keep and which can be lost. This creative flexibility when cross breeding my dogs is something that I did not have before Christmas when looking at cloning. I feel less restricted in my creation of each dog. It’s quite exciting!

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