Animal magic at the Park Gallery

Ozzy the Scottie meets up with his ceramic counterpart at the new Park Gallery exhibition.
Ozzy the Scottie meets up with his ceramic counterpart at the new Park Gallery exhibition.

Visit the Park Gallery this weekend and you could be in for a big surprise.

An unusual – and slightly bizarre – new exhibition opens on Saturday.

Anyone who fails to smile when they visit ‘Reggie’s Roller Palace’ must have a serious case of the miseries as even the thought of life-size ceramic dogs ... on roller skates, is guaranteed to raise a grin.

The Park Gallery within Callendar House is the first in Scotland to showcase this latest creation from talented Halifax artist Olivia Brown, best known for her unique ceramic sculptures of dogs and animals.

Expressed through the eyes of another of her beloved animals, Reggie the rat, the exhibition involves around 120 dog characters who star as contestants, judges and audience members in the Canine Rolla Dance.

Inspired by human competitions such as the X Factor and Strictly Come Dancing – you can decide which character is Simon Cowell – it is watched by a doggy audience enthralled by the on-stage pyrotechnics for Kenny and his display team.

Gillian Smith of Falkirk Community Trust said: “Reggie’s Roller Palace is a vintage take on the modern cult of celebrity, conveyed with humour using dogs. Olivia Brown is clearly an animal lover as each of her creations is lovingly hand-crafted from clay and imbued with its own personality and characteristics.”

The artist herself said: “My aim has been to capture the excitement and tension associated with such an event, I’m fascinated with the explosion of the current cult of celebrity and the audience’s need to feed on it.”

This week, Ozzy, a three-year-old Scottie, was given a sneak preview of some of the characters who will be on show until April 21.

The trust has organised several events and activities to coincide with the exhibition. On Saturday, March 30 there is a free talk from 10.30-11.30 a.m. with artist Olivia, then from 12.30-4.30 p.m. she will lead a workshop on how to make a miniature dog in clay. The cost is £25.

To book, call the Steeple Box Office on (01324) 506850.

A Top Dog competition is also being run by the trust.

If you are proud of your pup or chuffed with your chihuahua enter on Facebook and tell them why your pet is best.

E-mail your image to artsandcrafts@falkirk communitytrust.org then people can vote for their favourite at www.facebook.com/falkirkarts with the most-liked winning a prize.