For celebrated osteopath Simon Freedman, who runs renowned healthcare practice alive + well in Covent Garden, the “dog project” had an accidental birth. It has been enjoyed by everybody who it touches, and that’s really the most important thing to say about it.
When Jensen Parsons was five he scribbled a picture on a pad, and that was Boil the dog. Boil went onto a canvas to make him more permanent, and all of a sudden everybody wanted to paint a dog canvas. It was extraordinary how different people expressed themselves, and that was the start of the alive + well dog project.
Simon contacted Great Ormond Street Hospital Children’s Charity, told them what he had in mind and they were very keen to be involved. The rest has been fun, but far from easy. Almost all those involved are friends, patients or friends of friends and patients. And whilst Emma (Jensen’s mum) has been busily tracing canvasses on the kitchen table and sending out packages to people, the whole thing has spiralled into quite an event.
Featuring canvases by Anthony Gormley, Damien Hirst, Gary Hume, Jack and Dinos Chapman, Nicole Farhi and Paul McCartney as well as over 80 others (including our own contributions!) the event took place on the 31st January 2007 where the canvases were auctioned by Sothebys.
We gave our time to creating the website for the project, designing and producing the book and helping Simon and Emma to realise this most incredible dream for a truly worthy cause.