Dogs are featured in many stories, their obedience, companionship and loyalty to their masters, exalted and immortalised in folk tales and legends around the world. Black Heath Bobby, Gelert, Lassie and Hachiko, to name but a few, are shining examples of canines whose love for their masters knew no boundaries.
Their stories touch the heart and make us realise that as a species, humans do not exclusively have feelings and emotions. Whilst Tarsha is a fabrication based on the Welsh legend of Gelert, I hope you find the story as moving to read as it was for me writing it.
The dark nature of this story required unique images to do it justice, something coarse, grainy, earthy. When Sarah Tuk suggested block carving to illustrate the book, I was immediately excited by the idea. The accompanying video clips show Sarah at work, and the complexity of producing the illustrations for Tarsha.
Working on Tarsha I realised that the story had dimensions which would require an explanation and so I added a preface to the book, then created my own advisory label. Whilst such labels are common place in the music and film industry, there doesn't seem to be any for books. In general, this lack of guidance doesn't seem to be an issue, but I felt it my duty to devise one so as not to offend anyone with the dark tale this book tells.