John and George is the story of one man, his dog and the extraordinary story of how he went from living on the street to one of London’s most extraordinary artistic stories.
Well known to Shoreditch locals for years John Dolan would sit in his regular spot on Shoreditch High Street sketching the world around him and kept company by his ever faithful companion George the Dog. He would sell the sketches to passers by as they would often stop and admire the detail of his images.
Now John is hosting his second solo show at the Howard Griffin Gallery just nine months after his debut outing at the same venue. That time his streetscape sketches of the Shoreditch skyline were collaborated on by the great and good of the street art world and presented for display in the venue which ironically sat within eyesight of John Dolan’s pencil for all those years.
Dolan’s new show pays homage to the relationship with his dog George and coincides with the release of his autobiography also called ‘John and George’. The book delves deeper into the unique bond between the two which ultimately helped him to turn his life around. It is the story of a really quite remarkable transformation.
Inside the gallery the viewer is immediately drawn to the walls at the back which are entirely covered in A4 sketches of George. Get closer and you will notice that the gallery has created a mini pavement in tribute to John and Georges regular spot on Shoreditch High Street. It’s a nice touch and something that’s come to be expected from the innovative approach to exhibitions that the Howard Griffin Gallery has become known for. Visit the gallery during the exhibition and you might even bump into John himself and get to meet George too. The pair can often be found there so feel free to have a chat and talk about his work.
Speaking to John myself at the show it’s clear that he still can’t quite believe himself how the transformation has come about. No longer sitting on the outside looking in sketching pictures of life passing by, now with his dog George forever at his side he’s taking an altogether different view.
John and George will run at the Howard Griffin Gallery until 17 August 2014 with 20% of all sales going to the Battersea Dog and Cats Home. His book ‘John & George’ is published by Random House and can be bought at the exhibition.
John & George Gallery