Photographer Dougie Wallace has launched a new series investigating the hugely disparate lives of dogs outside the “pampered” pooches of the western world. Goan to the Dogs captures the beach dogs in Goa, and is a purposeful diversion from his recent series Well Heeled which depicted the pets of the extremely wealthy elite in London, Milan, New York and Tokyo. The two series are currently on show together at London’s Hospital Club as part of Photo London until 20 May.
This latest body of photos is intended as an “antidote” to Well Heeled, Dougie explains, though bearing the photographer’s similarly idiosyncratic style, which he describes as “a wildlife project from a street photographer’s perspective, shot from a dog’s eye view,” showing the seemingly human expressions and characters of the dogs.
“The second chapter of my dogs story is based on a question. Who are the happiest: the ones who ‘belong’ to humans, giving paws to get tasty treats, or the stray ones, fighting and howling day and night competing for the tourists’ attention and hoping to get scraps of food?” Dougie asks. “To put it in existential terms: would you choose convenience or freedom?”
“Whatever your answer,” he continues, “a dog doesn’t know what a diamond is.”
Dougie has been photographing the dogs in Goa for 14 weeks over two years, “low like the dogs” with an Olympus camera and “two flashguns trailing about in the loose sand watching for a bite,” he says. “Indian beaches lit by the last light of the day, offset with backdrops drenched in the deep reds, blues and golds of the sunsets the Indian winter offers up did the rest.”
Well Heeled and Goan to the Dogs are on show at The Hospital Club, London until 20 May. The exhibition also marks the launch of the Well Heeled book published by Dewi Lewis. Dougie has recently been signed to photo agency Wren Artists.