In This Issue....
Changi painted in oils by Mike Skidmore
The British Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial Fund
Update June 2007
by Hwfa Jones
The fund now stands at nearly £2,000, so we're getting there and essentially we now have enough money to ensure that a bronze plaque can be cast, naming all the British Antarctic dog teams. However, the growth of the fund to the target £6,000 and the casting of a full sized dog is now much more certain as donations continue to come in from people all over the world.
One example of this is the recent offer by the Antarctic painter, Michael Skidmore. Mike has painted some extraordinary Antarctic scenes, some of which are displayed on his website. There is no doubt that these paintings are in an artistic sense 'important' and represent an artistic record which could only be produced by someone who traveled widely with the dog teams in Antarctica. When you hold a Skidmore painting, you see not just the scene that captures an historical moment, but also a flow of the Antarctic colour with spontaneity and feeling that is more than could be expected. Somehow, Mike captures the 'soul' of the Antarctic in his works, more than art can impart. But there is much more. The scenes are accurate down to the finest detail. Each team is recognizable, each dog a perfect portrait, each man exactly dressed in the clothes he wore at the time, each sled perfectly represented with the exact load taken on that journey.
Mike's work is as valuable for our time as the paintings of Edward Wilson in Robert Falcon Scott's era. In that sense they are priceless.
Mike has generously offered the fund a portrait of Changi, the lead dog with the Hobbits in the late 60s and early 70s. The 30.5 cm x 38 cm (12 in by 15 in) painting in oils is now open to bids. Send your best bid to Graham Wright, treasurer of the fund.
We hope this auction will be facilitated for international bidders by listing the painting on eBay on December 1 through December 10. If the planned reserve eBay bid is not met, then the winning bid will be accepted from the highest bid received by traditional mail or email. The winning bidder will be responsible for the cost of packaging and shipping.
The winner will also get a record of Changi's sledding journeys assembled from his dog card and submissions from those who sledded with him all over the Antarctic plateau, sea ice, shelf ice and the Shackleton Mountains.
Also, still available is the book, The Doggy Men, which was written to help contribute some initial funding for the memorial and can be bought from the treasurer of the fund for £5 minimum donation. A copy of The Doggy Men is maintained on eBay, again to facilitate international donations.
Any donations to the fund can be made to:
Graham Wright, Treasurer Antarctic Sledge Dog Memorial Fund
Cheques (UK bank only please) should be made out to "The Sledge Dog Memorial Fund". Please include your postal address and name so donors to the fund can be recorded.
Paypal can be used with any credit card to: Hwfa@merseymail.com.
Postage is £1 per book UK, or £2.50 overseas. If you require more than one copy, email Graham for exact cost of shipping.
Editor's note: Readers with internet access are invited to visit and explore the many links at the Z-fids' Z-dogs page.