If you were at Booktoberfest™ at Fremantle Arts Centre two weeks ago, you will already know that Megan Anderson’s Word of Dog took the proverbial sausage and stole the show, also garnering the top spot as the highest selling book of the evening. But, if you missed it, there’s no need to whine! There are still plenty of chances to get your paws on a copy while meeting the author and artist at her Word of Dog exhibitions – featuring artworks from the book – in Fremantle and Albany.
Megan Anderson is the artist behind the successful Western Australian business Hangdog Art, which ships doggy-centric prints and merchandise to pooch enthusiasts worldwide. Megan, who gave up a long career as a journalist to become a full-time artist, said she was happy to be flexing her writing skills again for this playful creative venture: ‘They say a picture paints a thousand words, but I couldn’t quite give up the old journalistic habits and I found that adding a few extra words – derived from overheard conversations and observations of people – really gave the pictures another dimension.’
Megan said, ‘The words that appear alongside the artworks reveal something about the trivial and profound things we all worry about, obsess over and dream about. They’re shortcuts into the human condition, gently and wryly delivered by dogs.’
Described by Megan as a waggish picture book for adults, Word of Dog puts a cute canine face on very human thoughts and behaviours. It’s anthropomorphism taken to the extreme. One dog celebrates life as a nudist, while another grapples with the precision of Zumba. There’s a body language expert, a guerrilla artist, a couple of doomsday preppers and an ironing enthusiast.
Megan says, ‘Some lament their relationship decisions, others kick career goals, while many admit to a crippling self-doubt. The thing they have in common is that they’ve all moved beyond small talk and into something more real – and that’s when the magic happens.’
The Word of Dog exhibition launch will take place at 6.30 pm on Friday 15 November at Earlywork Gallery, 9/330 South Terrace in South Fremantle. Entry is free and the poochy artworks behind the book will stay on display until Sunday 24 November. The Albany Word of Dog pop-up exhibition will launch on Friday 6 December at 6 pm and will run all weekend in the basement of La Botanic, 20 Proudlove Parade.