Guide dog Uri immortalised in statue painted by visually impaired artist owner

  • Video report by ITV Wales' Gwennan Campbell

A visually impaired artist from Cardiff has been commissioned to create a statue of her own guide dog, which will be showcased as part of an exhibition in London.

Siân Healey was one of just 25 artists from across the UK selected by the charity Guide Dogs, which supports blind and partially sighted individuals, to create a sculpture for a free art trail in London.

The artwork will be unveiled at Canary Wharf on 25 March as part of the 'Paws on the Wharf' project.The installation will see a collection of larger-than-life guide dog sculptures to raise awareness and vital funds to help people with sight loss live more active and independent lives.

Siân used her own guide dog, Uri, as inspiration for the sculpture. Credit: Guide Dogs Cymru

Uri, Siân's own guide dog, was the inspiration for her sculpture.

Siân, who has Albinism, a condition which affects her vision, said: "I actually see things incredibly brightly and strongly, almost like an impressionist.

"I looked to Monet's work, and the later work of Turner, who both had sight conditions, and I began to adapt my style to show my vision through art work.

"When I was thinking about the piece, I thought 'how am I going to do this?'. I went back to what was important to me, my guide dog."

The sculpture has been hidden under a duvet for the most part as poor Uri isn't a fan! Credit: Guide Dogs Cymru

When discussing the post card paintings on the sculpture, she said: "The things these guide dogs bring us is freedom and independence. That's where the idea of these post cards came from, that we can send post cards from where we've been.

"These dogs have given us independence to go places and experience things."

But the real Uri isn't a big fan of his sculptured counterpart, with Siân adding: "He doesn't like him at all. We've literally had it under a duvet cover the whole time."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To know...