Dogue, by Gemma Parsons, 2011
Judging by the number of four-legged friends that visit the Kings Cross Saturday Markets each week, I'd hazard a wild guess that people in Darlinghurst love their dogs. Hugo (above) is a Weimaraner, a German dog, who lives in Leichhardt, in Sydney's inner-west with Gemma Parsons, her fiance and a Russian-blue cat called Rumpole.
But he comes to Darlinghurst quite often, mainly to visit Mr Morris, an apricot toy poodle in the area, and to stop for a snack at the Stanley Street cafes. This Wednesday, however, Hugo is taking over the East Village Hotel, on the corner of Palmer and Liverpool streets, to party it up with Parsons and other friends and to celebrate the opening of a new photography exhibition featuring images of himself. No one said Hugo was a modest dog.
Hugo's Bach, by Gemma Parsons, 2011
Parsons, a make-up artist by trade, was raised in the darkrooms and studios of her father, a professional photographer, and that talent has rubbed off. All she needed was a muse. Photos and Laughs is an exhibition featuring a dozen or so pictures of Hugo hamming it up in various costumes and scenarios for a proposed children's book, When I Grow Up.
According to Parsons, When I Grow Up is ''a book about dreaming. Dressing up and dreaming about growing up to become a scuba diver or maybe a doctor or a chef.''
''I think children and adults will love the images,'' Parsons told My Darling Darlinghurst.
''We hope you like the shots too and maybe, through the exhibition I might be lucky enough to meet a publisher . . . but that’s me dreaming.''
So the exhibition opens this Wednesday night, August 3, from 6pm at the East Village (below). Hugo will no doubt be available to sign autographs, while 10 per cent of all proceeds from the sale of photographs will go to the RSPCA.
But I know what you are really wondering - how on earth did Parsons manage to get Hugo to pose with that cello and bow?
Parsons is keeping that secret to herself, but she will admit that Hugo is ''by no means an obedient dog.''
''Weimaraner’s have earned a reputation for their stubbornness and neuroses - so a few basic commands were implemented at puppy school right away,'' she said.
''He will sit, shake hands and lay down if he feels inclined . . . and more often these days will walk nicely on the lead, though this took years!
''On set, he is a complete professional - it's as if he knows it's time to work, and takes much pride in his role.''
Copyright for all Hugo photographs belongs to Gemma Parsons.
Photos and Laughs
East Village Hotel
234 Palmer Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
August 3 - 31, 2011