THE big yellow dog at Neutral Bay has had a ruff time. He’s been knocked over, vandalised and daubed with paint. Thieves have even tried to dognap him, with police hoping to collar the culprits.
The latest episode was last Saturday night when two girls tried to run away with him. Only intervention by a neighbour saved Big Dog, as he is known. He’s so battle scarred that Big Dog is about get some much needed grooming, thanks to his creators, internationally renowned sculptors Gillie and Marc.
Big Dog has been standing guard on the doorstep of the Traffic Jam Galleries at Neutral Bay since November last year. Gallery owner Rebecca Pierce refuses to give in to vandals who’ve attacked the fibreglass sculpture five times but she’s decided Big Dog needs a reward for his loyal service.
Gillie and Marc have offered to paint the dog — give it a coat of many colours — in a two-hour session at the Neutral Bay gallery between 2-4pm on June 18 and spectators are welcome. Ms Pierce also wants Big Dog to have a friend so he will soon be joined by Paparazzi Dog who will snap the new look for the celebrity pages. Gillie and Marc are famous for their iconic Dogman and Rabbitgirl sculptures and recently four of their bronze Paparazzi Dogs were installed in the Dumbo district in New York.
Gillie and Marc are not surprised that Big Dog has been attacked. They say while sculpture “needs to come out of the gallery’’, there is a price to pay.
“We are used to it unfortunately — our sculptures have been vandalised so many times,’’ Marc said. The couple have seen their beloved “dogs” in other Sydney locations, stolen, painted with graffiti and one was painted with a Nazi swastika. However, the couple agree that Big Dog should stay where he is. “Every day someone tells us they were driving through Neutral Bay and saw the dog — it’s a fantastic drawcard,’’ says Gillie. Gillie says how they will paint Big Dog will be a surprise but it could be in the style of “passionate Pollack”. After the painting session Big Dog will be removed temporarily to receive a protective coating.
Traffic Jam Galleries is located on the residential island bounded by Military Rd and Falcon St at Neutral Bay. The gallery has exclusive rights on the northside to Gillie and Marc sculptures.