Lois Cordelia is one of the artists behind the ‘Library Labradors’ taking over Suffolk Libraries this summer. Here, she explains how she created the Ed Sheeran themed dog, now in Ipswich Library, for the PAWS-itivity fundraising campaign.
Suffolk Libraries is ready to spread a bit of PAWS-itivity over the summer with a pack of ‘Library Labradors’ now on display in the county’s libraries. More than 40 colourful dog sculptures and related artworks are now in libraries as part of Suffolk Libraries biggest fundraising campaign – PAWS-itivity.
Suffolk Libraries is the charity which runs Suffolk’s library service, and PAWS-itivity is designed to spread some positivity, colour and fun across the county this summer, whilst helping to raise money to support the vital work of the organisation in the community.
The dogs all feature designs individually created by local artists and take their inspiration from various sources such as Ed Sheeran, The Beatles, David Bowie, Kate Bush and well-known authors.
The entire collection of 48 sculptures or other dog-related artwork was first unveiled at the Suffolk Show where the Ed Sheeran inspired ‘Castle on the Dog’ by Lois Cordelia was voted by visitors as their favourite.
Community artist, speed painter and tutor, Lois says: ‘As an artist, I specialise in unusual requests. I was given the challenge of reimagining a life-size model Labrador with a theme of Ed Sheeran, for Suffolk Libraries’ PAWS-itivity art trail. My favourite song of Ed’s, Castle on the Hill therefore inspired Castle on the Dog. I immediately pictured Ed sitting on the dog’s forelimb strumming his guitar, and the dog’s back made a natural hill on which to build the castle. It turns out that Ed is a cat lover, hence I added a tiny little cat curled up beside him.’
Huge colourful images of the dogs were projected onto the walls of Framlingham Castle recently by Motion Mapping and they have all now taken up residence in libraries for the summer.
A list and a map of where each dog or artwork can be found is available on the Suffolk Libraries PAWS-itivity web pages along with more information about the campaign. The dogs will be in libraries until 3 September.
Suffolk Libraries is asking anyone keen on buying one for themselves to save the date of 12 October when the big fundraising auction takes place at Trinity Park.
Bruce Leeke, Chief Executive of Suffolk Libraries, adds: ‘We’re thrilled to see the PAWS-itivity dogs arrive in our libraries. They’re vibrancy is the result of lots of hard work from our amazing artists and the generous support of our sponsors. The summer is a very busy time in libraries with the Summer Reading Challenge, Blank Page programme and many other free or low-cost activities on offer. We know our PAWS-itivity dogs will provide an added attraction for people over the summer and I’d encourage you to drop into your local library to check out your library lab!’
Suffolk Libraries is also hosting a raffle for the chance to win one of several prizes, including Charmain McKissock’s fabric ‘Book & Woof’ dog, which is inspired by Charmain’s project where children can read to therapy dogs. Other prizes include annual passes to Jimmy’s Farm for two adults and two children, as well as signed copies of ‘Magpie Murders’ by Anthony Horowitz, ‘The Frog’s Kiss’ by James Mayhew, ‘Read! Said Rabbit’ by Marjoke Henrichs and ‘Gaspard’s Foxtrot’ by Zeb Soanes and James Mayhew. For the chance to win, text WOOF to 70215 and make a suggested donation of £2 to enter the draw. Full terms and conditions are available to read on our website at suffolklibraries.co.uk/woof-raffle. A new souvenir guide to all the dogs will also soon be available to accompany the campaign. It will be available from libraries in Suffolk for £3 and will also soon be available to download for free from the Suffolk Libraries website. To watch a video of artist Lois Cordelia showing how she created the Ed Sheeran themed dog which is now in Ipswich Library, visit Facebook.