Art for bark’s sake: Off-the-wall student makes pictures from dog sounds

Ryan Harrison founded Woof on the Wall in a temporary studio in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
Ryan Harrison founded Woof on the Wall in a temporary studio in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Picture: Ross Parry Agency
0
Have your say

THE image of a dog hearing His Master’s Voice from a gramophone horn is as old as recorded sound itself.

But a Yorkshire student has adapted the idea for the 21st century, by recording canine barks and selling them as art.

Ryan Harrison founded Woof on the Wall in a temporary studio in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Ryan Harrison founded Woof on the Wall in a temporary studio in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Ryan Harrison, 24, creates mounted pictures by printing out the waveforms of barks he has recorded, and selling them to pet owners for up to £30.

Mr Harrison, a music technology student at Huddersfield University, also records cat meows and horse neighs, whose visualisations he prints on to fine art paper, canvases, mugs and cushions.

He devised the business, WoofOnTheWall.co.uk, while working on a documentary and staying with his fiancée and her parents last Christmas.

He said: “I went over to my parents-in-law’s to record their dogs. It was interesting how the different breeds and sizes barked, creating different sound waves with their different personalities.

Ryan Harrison founded Woof on the Wall in a temporary studio in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

Ryan Harrison founded Woof on the Wall in a temporary studio in Mirfield, West Yorkshire. Picture: Ross Parry Agency

“I thought framing a sound wave might make a good Christmas present.

“Then my friends started asking for them so I thought I’ll give it a go as a business.”

Mr Harrison, from Mirfield, West Yorkshire, allows customers to purchase the art via his website, after uploading an audio clip of their pet.

He says the success of his business is enabling him to launch a new website next year and even an app, which will allow customers to record their pets directly from it.

He added: “When I first started trading, I did song lyrics for a friend’s birthday present - ‘Let It Be’ by The Beatles, their favourite song. It was a bit of a nerdy gift for a fellow music technology student.

“One customer enquired about the noise of a hamster wheel as a joke because the noise annoyed their partner.”

Mr Harrison is now considering transforming other noises into art, from babies’ heartbeats and wedding vows to car engines and football matches.

He said: “I thought about crowd cheers at football matches, like when England scores a goal. I’m always coming up with more noises to do. I wake up half way through the night and go ‘that’s a good idea’.”