We Think the World of You People and Dogs Drawn Together
David Remfry R.A
Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery
25 October 2023 to 28 January 2024
The exhibition, titled We Think the World of You People and Dogs Drawn Together contains unique works by contemporary British painter, David Remfry RA. Now on display at the Willis Museum and Sainsbury Gallery in Basingstoke until Sunday 28 January 2024, the works express the artist’s fascination with the relationships that develop between dogs and their owners.
The title, We Think the World of You, is borrowed from a book by AJ Ackerley which tells the story of how Ackerley acquired his Alsatian, a pet immortalised in the 1956 memoir, My Dog Tulip.
Remfry is lives and works in London and has curated several exhibitions, notably the Royal Academy’s Summer Exhibition 2023 and was recently a Professor of Drawing at the Royal Academy Schools. He grew up in Hull and is perhaps best known for his large-scale watercolours, often of people dancing and his landscapes of New York.
This show is a departure from Remfry’s usual style. While working in his studio at the infamous Chelsea Hotel in New York City, Remfry invited neighbours and friends to sit for him. He discovered that many friends had dogs in New York, and they started coming along for the sittings. He was captivated by the moving tales of how they came to find each other and the mutual understanding and sympathy of these partnerships. Over the years sitters have included celebrities Alan Cumming, Susan Sarandon and Ethan Hawke – and their pets. Some of these stories appear alongside the works presented in this special exhibition in Basingstoke.
David commented, “This series of paintings on display at the Willis Museum began when actor Alan Cumming arrived for a sitting at my studio in New York City at the Chelsea Hotel, with a rescue dog named Honey. About 30 years ago I had a dog called Blue, and drawing Alan and Honey reminded me of the deep bond that exists between dogs and their owners and how these relationships can enrich our lives. This quickly became a series of paintings exploring these relationships; the paintings are shown beside the wonderful stories the owners told me about how they came to find each other.”
For more information about We Think the World of You, People and Dogs Drawn Together, please visit https://www.hampshireculture.org.uk/event/we-think-world-you.