The symbol of the Whippet is central to this series of works. The breed was first popularised in the 1860s, in the north of England, where whippet racing took off with factory and mine workers in northern towns and cities. The whippet was nicknamed ‘the poor man’s racehorse’ and it became synonymous with the pastimes of working classes.
In comparison the series also visually references the formal compositions of the 18th century artist George Stubbs. Stubbs was born in Liverpool, the son of a currier and leather merchant. He is regarded as the quintessential equine painter commissioned by leading aristocratic patrons to depict their horses.
The series of whippets are depicted in a typical show pose similar to how Stubbs composed his equine works. The dogs are presented in a series of identical silhouettes, only the inner content changes, with patterns referencing a past industry and contemporary culture, turning them from animal into a symbol.