DEPICTING the kinship between Mpophomeni children and their dogs through art has earned Hilton-based glass and mosaic artist Sarah Pryke stripes for her work.A self-taught artist, Pryke scooped two awards at the 2019 Mosaic Association South Africa, “This is Mosaic art”, competition in Johannesburg over the weekend.Pryke’s second human portrait mosaic, capturing the love between Addibel Rupiya of Mpophomeni and her puppy Leo, earned her gold in the Traditional and Best On Show categories.The artwork is currently on exhibit at Arts on Acacia in Randburg until the end of July.Pryke, whose work is inspired by animals and wildlife, is one of the volunteers at the Mpophomeni-based charity Funda Nenja, which uses dogs to nurture children into caring and responsible young adults.The inspiration for the portrait came through her interaction with Addibel and her puppy.Leo was critically sick with the parvo virus and young Addibel was distraught about the future of her beloved puppy.Pryke said while Addibel desperately wanted to the charity to help Leo, at the same time she was reluctant to hand over, and likely lose, her best friend — she was caught between hope and despair.The artwork portrays Addibel and Leo’s emotions, while also illustrating the theme for the competition — “Between Hope and Despair”.“Thankfully, against the odds, young Leo made a miraculous recovery and was reunited with her delighted young owner a week later,” said Pryke.She said it was fulfilling to get recognition for her work, saying: “It’s fun to do a job that you enjoy every day and get recognised for it.”Although art is her passion, Pryke’s love for animals inspired her to give her time to Funda Nenja. “It’s a fantastic organisation. I love teaching children about how to humanely look after their dogs and animals. It also teaches children about responsibility and kindness and compassion to others,” she said.“I went out one day just to see what they were doing, and I was blown away by what a big and incredible organisation it was. The interaction with the children is so heart-warming. Sometimes the children arrive and they have a puppy and they won’t touch it and, before you know it, they are best friends.”She said creating the winning artwork had taken her about three weeks.“It was a huge challenge, but it was much better than the first one. I can’t tell you how many times I pulled it apart and put it back together. It was a lot of late nights just working on it. It is hard to capture all the emotions,” she ended.