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Thurso artist's bid to raise money for Buddy the dog at Balmore

By David G Scott

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A young up-and-coming artist from Thurso is auctioning a painting to help a dog in Caithness find a home.

Leah Davis, mixed media artist who focuses on pop surreal portraiture, was commissioned to create a painting for a show at the Moray Art Centre called Covenant.

"All artists have chosen a charity to take donations for, and some have entered their work into a silent auction," said Leah. " The work has a set price, but if a bidder or bidders would like to pay more, the extra goes to the artist's chosen charity. I have chosen Caithness and Sutherland SSPCA."

Leah Davis with her painting called Resilience.
Leah Davis with her painting called Resilience.

Leah said that the inspiration for choosing the SSPCA charity came from a staffie-cross dog called Buddy – a resident at the Balmore animal centre near Thurso.

"There is this dog Buddy that’s been there for ages," she said. "I’ve been looking at the website every day for months to see if he’s been given a home or not. I’ve seen other dogs come and go and its really sad. I took a liking to him as soon as I saw him.

Leah donated to the Balmore SSPCA rescue centre where staffie-cross Buddy lives.
Leah donated to the Balmore SSPCA rescue centre where staffie-cross Buddy lives.

"The first pictures they put up of him, he had really sad eyes, but he’s been looking happier in every picture they post. I can't adopt him myself, as I already have a dog and Buddy needs to go to a family where there isn’t another pet. So I thought if I could raise money to go towards his care at the centre, I have at least done something to help."

Leah received a First-Class Honours degree in Contemporary Art and Contextualised Practice at the University of the Highlands and Islands in 2020 and is presently studying an MA in Fine Art at Gray's School of Art, Aberdeen.

Her first solo exhibition, held at the Upstairs Gallery in Inverness (2019), was a major success and since then she has exhibited nationally and internationally including, SixFoot Gallery, Glasgow (2021), and KEEP Contemporary, Santa Fe (2020).

Leah's painting for the show is called Resilience.
Leah's painting for the show is called Resilience.

The exhibition Leah's work features in is called Covenant and aims to provide "new perspectives on military life" through the eyes of over 20 artists, both student and professional, who have enjoyed unprecedented access to local service personnel.

Leah works from her studio in Lossiemouth and is currently exploring the healing benefits of art, including the use of archetypal imagery and Jungian Art Therapy techniques.

You can see her work and make a bid in the silent auction at the Moray Art Centre in Findhorn until December 5 or online at smartify.org/venues/moray-art-centre/artworks

For more information about helping an animal like Buddy find their forever home or to make a donation visit the SSPCA page at: www.scottishspca.org/rehoming/centres/4_caithness-sutherland

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