Vibrant mural pays homage to Sheffield's abandoned dogs

A mural painted by local artist Rob Lee has been unveiled at the Sheffield City Council's dog shelter building on Bower Spring.

Wednesday, 16th May 2018, 3:26 pm
Updated Tuesday, 22nd May 2018, 1:06 pm
Local artist Rob Lee wants to raise awareness for the Sheffield City Council's dog shelter.

The shelter now boasts a vibrant painting of a German Shepherd, to pay homage to the many animals which get abandoned in the city each year.

For over a year, the building has been home to another mural first commissioned in 2016 by the council as part of the Year of Making, in which Rob completed a project called 'Connecting the North'.

The original 'SHF' mural was painted as part of the Year of Making 2016 by Rob Lee

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The existing mural combines the industrial history of Sheffield, in the form of the Sheffield train station code 'SHF' to mark tribute to railway trade, and boasts a vibrant green colour scheme to represent Sheffield's status as the 'greenest city in Europe'.

When it was completed in September 2016, it left space on the curved wall to the right of the original mural for a personal project, one which artist Rob said wasn't a possibility at the time.

Whilst painting the original commission, he got to know the staff at the shelter and experienced the work they do helping many lost or abandoned dogs in Sheffield

It was then that he decided to use the free space to support and celebrate their work.

He said: "It's just to raise awareness over the use of the building. I love dogs and find it very sad that people can neglect an animal that loves us unconditionally."

Rob, who has been a professional artist for five years, has always been fascinated by colour and this has been one of the influences to his painting style."I am fascinated by colour and the science behind colour, my Dad was a structural engineer which is why/how I've developed the technical geometric style I use," he added.

"I'm inspired by the technological and natural worlds equally, the style I've developed is a fusion of the two.

"I rarely, if ever, use such natural colours in my work, but for this piece I wanted to illustrate a dog, in this case, a German Shepherd as closely as possible in my style."The painting, which took him five days in total, was self-financed by the artist, and was piece he'd been desperate to paint for a long time.

He said: "I just feel a little sorry for the place, the building has been set for demolition for over ten years. Walking around it's clear it's been neglected, which is obviously a sign of the times and how there are minimal spare funds in the council.

"It's a shame that the well-being of Sheffield's dogs can't be prioritised more."

Sheffield City Council don't accept any monetry donations, instead they ask for donations in the form of food or bedding for the animals.

Rob said: "Pay them a visit, and snap a photo while you’re at it!"