Dog Day Evening

2010,   75 x 117 cms

None of the dogs in camp can be easily dismissed. Especially as a pack of camp guards they present a formidable entourage of barking bodies to the casual visitor. I have depicted a quiet scene amongst infant familiars, partly in homage to the bulldog bitzer, 'Hayes,' seen bottom left. In deference to his status, he alone is collared. In 2010, dog owners were informed by Town Council that unregistered dogs would be culled. Their numbers in the fringe camps dropped dramatically. Here, Melaki, Christianna and Nekita Hayes romp midst the mutts. Perhaps prompted by his predilection for khaki trouser legs, Hayes had assumed the camp's dominant family name and was their standard-bearer for tirades against officialdom. He brook no competitors; his health a testament to victories for every discarded scarp. His legendary aggression quickly circulated amongst visiting police, truant officers, and dog-catchers. Those bearing news, seeking information and those pertaining to it, now sat in their cars and summoned campers to their lowered windows. Hayes rarely joined the ranks of the rowdy avant garde. He was a one dog show. Surly, squat, slow-moving and purely savage when stirred.