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Cambridgeshire artist Kevin Gavaghan showcases dog sculpture at London exhibition

Kevin, 54, of St Neots, developed Tourette Syndrome when he was a teen

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A Cambridgeshire artist is taking part in the world’s largest assistance dog organisation, Guide Dogs, which has recently opened an exhibition of “imagination and inclusivity” in London with the help of artists from across the country. Surrealism artist Kevin Gavaghan is showcasing his dog sculpture ‘Hope and Resilience’ in the Paws on the Wharf trail.

Kevin’s ‘Hope and Resilience’ pup recognises the difficulties people face and encapsulates his accomplishment of embracing his trials and tribulations during his lifetime.

One artist whose dog sculpture features in the Paws on the Wharf trail, is Cambridgeshire-based surrealism artist, Kevin Gavaghan.

One artist whose dog sculpture features in the Paws on the Wharf trail, is Cambridgeshire-based surrealism artist, Kevin Gavaghan.

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Kevin, now aged 54 and living in St Neots, developed Tourette Syndrome when he was a teen and has battled anxiety and depression since his 20s. He was later diagnosed with his sight condition, Central Serous Retinopathy (CSR), when he was in his mid-30s.

Kevin said: “When I was diagnosed with CSR, I had just decided to leave my job as a data analyst, and I was trying to make a career out of my life-long love for art. The diagnosis felt like it was all over before it had begun.

“I often explain that my vision is like looking through a pane of glass with a drop of water on it. Everything is distorted, and at the beginning, I thought I’d never paint again.

Kevin Gavaghan’s work 

“Throughout my life, drawing and painting have been my escapism. It helped me through years of hospital appointments, severe panic attacks, and depression. It has always been my therapy, and I wouldn’t be the person I am today without it, so I soon realised I wasn’t willing to give it up.

“It didn’t take me long to start thinking of my new eyesight like any other mental health condition I had. I embraced it and adapted my art to replicate my eyesight. My paintings are now surrealist and abstract, they’re warped and distorted, an explanation of my vision.”

One artist whose dog sculpture features in the Paws on the Wharf trail, is Cambridgeshire-based surrealism artist, Kevin Gavaghan.

One artist whose dog sculpture features in the Paws on the Wharf trail, is Cambridgeshire-based surrealism artist, Kevin Gavaghan.

This mindset helped Kevin kickstart his art career, going from small pub displays to large-scale exhibitions like today’s Paws on the Wharf trail in the capital.

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Kevin’s Paws on the Wharf sculpture features two people crouching down, symbolising the emotional and physical impact of challenging times in life. The smaller characters are scrambling over each other, representing the mania of life but also showcasing a support system for those going through a tough time.

Kevin Gavaghan’s work 

By contradicting dark and muted colours on the bottom half, with vibrant blues and whites at the top, Kevin has portrayed hope coming from darker days, and the impact surrounding yourself with good people can have.

Kevin added: “I’ve loved being a part of the Paws on the Wharf exhibition. It has not only inspired me in my creativity, but I’ve had several people reach out to me, personally. Individuals that have recently been diagnosed with CSR, or who are going through a tough time with it, and just want to talk.

“Or health professionals who are fascinated by how I’ve used art and painting to embrace my eye condition and the impact this has had on my mental health.

One artist whose dog sculpture features in the Paws on the Wharf trail, is Cambridgeshire-based surrealism artist, Kevin Gavaghan.

One artist whose dog sculpture features in the Paws on the Wharf trail, is Cambridgeshire-based surrealism artist, Kevin Gavaghan.

“Hope and Resilience will go to auction once the exhibition is over, alongside the other amazing dogs, and I hope they bring joy and kindness to its winning bidder.”

The trail is step-free, and audio information about the sculptures is available. Kevin’s pup is located in area 4, located on the riverside of Westferry Circus, which can be found on the trail map. If you are interested in giving Hope and Resilience their ‘furever ‘ home you can bid in the auction until June 4.

To learn more about the Paws on the Wharf exhibition, which is running until May 17, visit: Guide Dogs | Paws on the Wharf.

 

 

 

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