Artwork by Jerome Prieur, inspired by a beautiful deaf & blind canine girl by the name of Poppy !
This piece is SOLD ! Purchased by Poppy’s dogmom !
White sensors (Jerome Prieur 2021)
Mix media on wood
5 x 16 inches (variable)
Lots of symbolisms went into this piece and I don’t know where to start!
Let me start with this wonderful back story from Poppy’s dogmom;
Poppy is such a sweet girl. She turns 2 at the end of April. She was rescued by Poet’s vision at 10 weeks old. She stayed with them until she was 7 months old when I adopted her. I went to the pet expo here in Ottawa where I met Tanya and Poet’s vision. I stayed to chat for an hour then Tanya told me that if I wanted to stay for another 30-45 mins I’ll be able to meet Poppy (who was named Tilly at the time). The minute I met her, she stole my heart and I knew she was to be apart of my family.
She is both blind and deaf but don’t let that fool you! She goes out for 3km runs with me or will run beside me while I rollerblade. She was diagnosed with lyme disease at 9 months old. Despite her medical issues and anxiety she is a happy girl. She loves to play with her cat siblings or nap. But is most happy when getting belly rubs or hogging my bed at night.
Sabrina (Poppy’s dogmom)
For this piece, I wanted to explore one of the most and important senses she must have developed despite her condition. I chose whiskers and hair which are strong assets in any animal survival and guidance. I can’t even imagine how vital they must be for Poppy being blind and deaf.
I loved 2 of her photos sent for the model call and I could not decide which one I wanted to base my work upon. In the end, I decided to make 2 smaller pieces versus a larger one. I had 2 frames ready to make a diptych. But after spending hours looking at her photos, I noticed that both photos were taken with the sunlight shining behind her and as I paid a closer attention to this detail of her being surrounded by a halo of bright whiskers and glowing white hair, I automatically knew this was going to be the most important part of the piece.
My brain began to race and my first idea was to alter the frames with whiskers painted on. Then, I tried to imagine the final result but I was not fully convinced. I felt that visually, the frames will entrap the whiskers in a box. I thought outside of this box and I thought to let the whiskers and hair float freely outside Poppy’s body giving the art piece’s frame a sensory element, a feel, a touch and protection of her surrounding.
How to do this though?
Some researches later, I keep in mind that her sense of smell that must be just as developed. For those who know me well, I love flowers. How they look and how they smell.
I was looking for a medium or an object to recreate Poppy’s white sensors, and I thought –How about artificial sculpting flower white wire! – It was perfect! Thin, delicate and strong at once. And the facts that they are used for crafting artificial flowers, the link was even stronger. The whole outside of the piece would reflect what I was looking for, a sensitive and free formed of white strings in reference to the most important part of her anatomy.
Lastly, instead of making two separate pieces, I installed an unbreakable and strong brass coupling (joint) reuniting both portraits. A metaphor about her resting and running despite her Lyme disease.
And of course, many other little messages painted here and there up for your interpretation!
Poppy lives in a silent and colorless world, yet, as dogmom said, -don’t’ let that fool you-.
Young Poppy learns how to live with the same joy as anyone else, one adventure to the next in a loving and safe company.