PAWtraits that matter

Deccan Chronicle.  | Sneha K Sukumar

Lifestyle, Environment

Get your pet painted live at this charity event on November 13, in aid of animal rescue.

Chakra, the artist poses with his pooch paintings

If you are a Bengalurean and double as an animal lover, you obviously know of a little piece of haven for them in Jakkur called Charlie’s Animal Rescue Centre or CARE. On many occasions, you may have even made friends with its legendary permanent residents, the delightful three-legged Charlie at the helm of them all.

Here’s your chance to see your favourite pooch (or in one case, a kitty) come to life in paintings at The Art Affair on November 13 from 11 am to 6 pm. The best part? All funds raised will be wholly contributed to the cause of animal rescue!

“We humans are sometimes foolish. We cry for every little thing. These animals have been with us for years now, and their tales of courage make each one, a winner. You can’t take them home because of their conditions, but you can definitely take a piece of them home with a painting,” says the shelter’s founder, Sudha S Narayanan.

A place that perhaps brings back fond memories of your first play school with its colourful kennels, this shelter is home to everything from dogs and cats to guinea pigs, rabbits, pigs, duck, and a calf even! Most of them have a fan following of their own with visitors travelling a long way to spend time with their favourite resident.

“That’s when the idea struck us — we decided to capitalise on it while raising awareness about what it is that a shelter does,” adds Sudha.

Each of these animals has an inspiring story behind them — stories of grit, perseverance, survival and extraordinary courage in the face of pathos and unspeakable cruelty. These are the same dogs that have lost a leg or an eye, but haven’t lost their capacity to love or live.

City-based artist, Gumi Malhotra has captured their hopeful faces and inimitable furs through water colours on handmade paper. “We pass a dog on the street without so much as giving it a second thought, but there are several people with full-time jobs that go out on their limb to rescue them. While I can’t do that, I definitely wanted to do my bit for animal welfare and adoption,” says the self-taught artist whose 15 portraits you’ll get to see at the Raintree, Sankey Road.

Another artist who had spent a lot of time at the shelter and sketched dogs even as a child, decided to pitch in too. “I would regularly visit and observe the behaviour of these animals. I took a number of photographs and decided to bring them to life in my work. My experience with wildlife paintings helped me out there,” admits Chakra about his 18 realistic paintings, where even the floppy folds of Charlie’s ear stays true.

Ultimately, The Art Affair hopes to raise awareness about shelter animals, and to bust the myth that they are broken in some way and to enlighten people about the beauty, strength and wisdom that they embody.