Tails are wagging at Birmingham Dogs Home, following the donation of a giant balloon dog sculpture from leading art retailer, Castle Fine Art. The 14-foot creation has been gifted to the charity as part of its 130th birthday celebrations, to recognise its dedication to lost and homeless dogs across the Midlands.
The ‘Downward Dog’ sculpture by artist Whatshisname, part of the POPek Balloon Dogs Series, will now take residence at the charity’s headquarters in Solihull after an official unveiling by members of the Birmingham Dogs Home team and a few of their very own buddies.
Based on the Polish-born artists’ own pets, the sculpture is one in a collection of four similar pieces and has arrived at Birmingham Dogs Home following a tour of the UK. Over the past year, these stunning supersize sculptures have been exhibited in London’s Covent Garden, Westgate Oxford Shopping Centre, and most recently, one of the sculptures has been donated to Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Speaking about the donation, Castle Fine Art’s Group Managing Director, Ian Weatherby-Blythe, said:
“For 130 years, the team at Birmingham Dogs Home has been dedicated to caring for lost and homeless dogs, helping to connect families with their new loved ones. They work tirelessly, day in day out, to rescue, reunite, and rehome around 2,500 dogs a year and I am truly delighted that we can help recognise their important work with this show-stopping sculpture. I hope it not only brings a smile to the faces of the charity’s hard-working team, but to everyone who visits the centre to meet their new pet too.
“Castle Fine Art is proud of its Birmingham heritage; our headquarters have been here since we launched back in 1995. As well as presenting art from well-known names like Bob Dylan, Johnny Depp and Billy Connolly, shining a light on new talent is something that we love to do – and that feeds into our community work as well. Being able to work alongside and support fantastic charities based here in our home city, like Birmingham Dogs Home and the Children’s Hospital, is something really special.”
As a part of the sculpture’s rehoming, the ‘Downward Dog’ has been named “Buddy”, which has been inspired by the many loving dogs that seek refuge at Birmingham Dogs Home every year.
Giles Webber, Chief Executive at Birmingham Dogs Home, said:
“We are delighted to be rehoming this fantastic, playful sculpture by Whatshisname here at our Birmingham rescue centre. Our charity has been caring for homeless dogs from across the region for 130 years and this fabulous donation by Castle Fine Art is the perfect way for us to celebrate our big birthday in a big way!
“Our team has decided to name our new family member “Buddy”. He is a playful reminder that dogs are our best friends, part of the family and bring us great joy, and we think this name sums this up. Birmingham Dogs Home is honoured to receive this donation and to be able to give “Buddy” a fur-ever home here. We hope he will bring lots of enjoyment to all our visitors and inspire more people to consider rehoming a dog”.
The talented artist behind the sculpture, Sebastian Burdon aka Whatshisname, concludes:
“I’m thrilled to find the perfect forever home for my yoga balloon dog at the Birmingham Dogs Home. The shape of the sculpture was inspired by the energetic and active nature of real dogs, while the colour is a tribute to the 130 years of caring for lost and homeless dogs by this remarkable charity and rescue centre. I hope it will be a fun addition for all the dogs, staff and future owners!”
For those who wish to donate to Birmingham Dogs Home, the permanent sculpture features a QR code allowing anyone and everyone to make a difference for lost and homeless dogs across the Midlands.