Karen Shum


My eyes are your eyes

My eyes are your eyes

Highly commended

2020
watercolour on paper
89 x 69 cm

Artist statement

“My eyes are your eyes, to watch and protect you and yours.”
 (The Working Dog, author unknown)

The enduring bond between man and dog is a bond not often rivalled. But nowhere is this bond so uniquely reflected than in the relationship between a war dog and its handler, where trust has been born from the trepidation of a war zone.

Through their service, war dogs have saved countless lives performing tasks that no human can. Despite the danger they are placed in, their trust and eagerness to please and protect remain undiminished.

Without speech, eyes serve as a dog’s voice. In my painting of Sarbi, a war dog who served in Afghanistan, the bond Sarbi shares with her handler is captured through her eyes. They show her intent and focus, to do her duty and to please.

My painting pays homage to Sarbi’s service and is a tribute to all war dogs.