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Work of the Week | 28 February 2022

CAG.2951 Helen Farrell, Sid, 1998, drypoint/monoprint (4/6), 70.5 x 78.3 cm. Presented, 2014. © the artist.


It’s the final week of MENAGERIE so we’re showing some love for a trusty companion.

They say ‘let sleeping dogs lie’ and we can’t argue with that when encountering Sid (1998) by Helen Farrell. Depicting the artist’s Border Collie cross, Sidney, this print suggests a sense of calm and wellbeing as the black-and-white dog sleeps with its head turned away from us, ears still alert.

Over the past two years, the reciprocal human-canine relationship has become especially apparent, as additional time at home has allowed more people to foster and adopt dogs. In art, dogs have traditionally been symbols of faithfulness, and have appeared in the rock art of Saudi Arabia, on the cups of ancient Athenians, as decoration in the Book of Kells, among so many other creative contexts since.

Farrell’s Sid presently hangs alongside a collograph print by Andrew Boyle, also from 1998, titled Millwall. Coincidentally, the real Sidney and Millwall, a Pitbull terrier, spent a lot of time together as both artists then had studio spaces at the Cork Artists Collective.

Helen Farrell (b.1961) investigates the human and natural world through drawing, painting, and print. She works from observation but also integrates a fluid, instinctive element that is often heavily reworked. A graduate from Crawford College of Art & Design, she holds a PhD from University College Cork. She is currently a member of Drawbridge and the board of Backwater Artists’ Studios.

Sid (1998) by Helen Farrell is featured in MENAGERIE: Animals by Artists which must close on Sunday 6 March.

Tune into The Arts House with Elmarie Mawe on Cork’s 96FM and C103FM every Sunday morning as Conor Tallon chats with assistant curator Michael Waldron about each WORK OF THE WEEK! Listen back to this week's chat here:

Crawford Art Gallery · WORK OF THE WEEK 76 HELEN FARRELL - SID

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