The Watchdog artist auctions work for Chichester Boys' Club

The artist who painted The Watchdog and The King of Cats in North Pallant is auctioning a piece of his work to raise money for Chichester Boys' Club.

Wednesday, 19th December 2018, 9:25 am
Updated Thursday, 10th January 2019, 10:12 am
Chichester Boys' Club chairman Richard Hancock with artist Joachim

Belgian street artist Joachim painted The Watchdog after his work King of Cats was painted over for attracting 'antisocial behaviour'. The Watchdog was dedicated to the people of Chichester to keep the community safe but Joachim decided to do something more for the community that 'showered him with support'.

While spending time in the city, the artist spent time at the Chichester Boys' Club— a registered charity which provides a safe environment for young people and adults offering various programs such as arts, boxing, youth clubs, archery, break-dancing, yoga and flamenco dancing as well as hosting adult meeting groups for those of restricted ability.

Joachim said: "The Watchdog is keeping the neighbourhood safe, but it's the hard work and dedication from these guys at Chichester Boys' Club that really keep young people safe and off the streets. I am honoured to donate a special piece of art for auction and hope we can raise some much needed funds and awareness for the club."

Chichester Boys' Club chairman Richard Hancock with artist Joachim

Chairman of the trustees of Chichester Boys' Club, Richard Hancock said: "It's about a meter from head to tail and he first thought he would give it to the Boys' Club but then decided to auction it, with all the proceeds going to the club — we were delighted.

"What a super kind idea. He was upset with the white-out of the cat. The table tennis tables are broken so it would be a nice idea to get some new table with the money."

King of Cats was painted in North Pallant in October last year and Joachim said the community's reaction to his work was 'overwhelming'. Then, in mid November, the work was painted over with Chichester District Council saying it had received complaints about the mural and that 'attracted antisocial behaviour'.

The Observer then requested the list of complaints which included reasons such as 'it encourage youths larking, intimidating and possible exchanging drugs' and that it was a 'disturbing portrayal of a much loved household pet'.

Readers of the Observer shared their views on social media saying they felt that more people should have been consulted prior to the work being painted over and a poll put out by the Observer revealed that 92 per cent of people preferred King of Cats to the blank wall.

Speaking at the time, Joachim said: "I know cats can cause all sort of trouble but to put the blame on a wider social problem on my mural of the King of Cats is just incomprehensible."

Anyone wishing to bid in the auction can do so here: www.graffitistreet.com/auctions/