Guide Dog Adventures

Guide Dog Adventures was designed and painted by artist Sian Healey, who is one of our artists with sight loss.

Design summary

About her design inspiration, Sian said, “The dog sculpture is based on my own blonde guide dog Uri. On its back are four original paintings/postcards. These feature a guide dog and owner in well-known locations around the UK.”

Sensory items

We asked our artists to come up with a scent and a touch item that relates to their design to give a multi-sensory perspective to their concept. Some of these items will be incorporated into our sighted guide and sensory tours. Sian's sensory items are:

  • Touch item: Daffodils and thistles.
  • Scent item: Daffodils.

Postcard detail

Sian has provided details about each of the postcards that are featured in her design:

Postcard Caerphilly Castle: 

If you feel just under the tactile harness on the left-hand side of the sculpture moving from the dog's head. You will feel the top and bottom of a tactile frame around the postcard painting. Red stripes around the frame represent tape holding the postcard in place. The painting is in landscape and shows two guide dogs and their owners walking in the foreground as Caerphilly Castle is in the background. One guide dog owner is in a pink skirt and top, with blonde hair and a golden lab cross retriever dog in harness. The other guide dog owner has long very white hair, blue glasses and is wearing jeans with a purple top. The guide dog beside her is a very pale blonde Labrador cross retriever. The sky is blue, the ruined walls of the castle are a sandy colour and reflections of the sky and walls can be seen in the moat that surrounds the castle. Next to the postcard is a painted brown luggage tag with a yellow daffodil and the letters WAL painted on it. 

Postcard Belfast:

This postcard is on the sculpture’s left hip under the harness handle. There are tactile dashes that define the frame of the postcard. It has short painted purple strips on each side of the frame to represent the tape holding the postcard on the dog.
A golden retriever guide dog in a harness and the owner in a red jumper and blue trousers are standing in the foreground. Behind them, the large looming Titanic Museum can be seen. It's a huge modern angular building that looks like a looming grey ship towering in the skyline. The metal cladding of the Titanic Museum is in diagonal wavy strips, reflecting light off the irregular surfaces. This is shown in the mark-making of the brush strokes. Grass lies to the front right of the image and the guide dog owner and guide dog are walking towards us on a path on the right of the painting. 
Next to this postcard is a brown-painted luggage tag with a painted shamrock leaf and the letters NIR. 

Postcard London:

This image sits inside the harness handle on the back of the sculpture’s neck. There is a bumpy tactile frame around the postcard. Four short painted green strips on each corner at an angle depict tape holding the postcard in place. 
In the frame is a blurry portrait painting of a female guide dog owner, with long brown hair, a light blue coat, a red scarf and blue jeans. She is walking with a male friend in a blue coat and blue trousers holding a large red umbrella. A small black lab in a harness walks beside the owner. Big Ben can be seen in the background on a wet day. A red bus and street lights are reflecting colour into the puddles on the grey pavement and road.
Next to the postcard is a painted brown luggage label with a red rose in bud and the letters ENG. 

Postcard Helix Park Scotland the Kelpies:

This painting lies under the harness on the right-hand side of the sculpture if you start at the head. It has raised tactile corners and painted orange stripes around the painting to depict tape holding the postcard in place. 
In the frame is a portrait painting of a guide dog owner standing with his dog in the foreground. The male guide dog owner is in a fluorescent coat and blue jeans. Alongside him is a sable brown German shepherd in harness. Two huge metallic equine sculptures fill the sky behind them. The horse on the left is facing us and the other on the right is facing right. The metal structures are depicted through criss-cross grey brush strokes with white highlights to show reflected light off the shiny steel structure. The sky is blue with white clouds that reflect on the steel latticework of the sculptures. 
Next to the painting is a painted brown luggage label with a painting of a purple thistle and the letters SCO.

If you are interested in giving Guide Dog Adventures their 'furever' home you can bid in our auction!