Calling all artists – the Swindogs need you!

By Nick Batten on 5 September, 2022

The Big Dog Art Trail is looking for talented artists, designers and illustrators who can turn a blank canvas into a fun and inspiring sculpture to engage audiences across Swindon. 

Each of the two-metre-high balloon dogs will be adopted by different artists, who will decorate the Swindog with their own eye-catching and innovative design on the sculptures. 

On Friday 18th August, artists were invited to a launch event at Artsite in Swindon to find out how they can get involved in The Big Dog Art Trail. It was an opportunity to meet the very first painted Swindog which was designed and painted by local artist Hannah Dosanjh.

More than 30 uniquely decorated Swindogs will create the UK’s first-ever balloon dog art trail and will raise essential funds for the local children’s hospice charity, Julia’s House. Each of the sculptures will be sponsored by a local company and, in January 2023, sponsors will be able to select their favourite design. If you want to find out how your company can sponsor a Swindog and join the Big Dog Art Trail pack, please visit www.bigdogarttrail.co.uk/sponsors.

Chris Hyde, Project Manager for The Big Dog Art Trail, said, “The Big Dog Art trail team is so excited to invite artists to submit their designs, we can’t wait to see them. The final decision is in the paws of the Swindog sponsors as they will be choosing their favourite designs.” 

Hannah added, “I really enjoyed painting my Swindog and it’s been brilliant to see how it’s engaged people since it was unveiled. I’m really looking forward to seeing the designs the artists come up with to make this trail come to life.”

Running from 15th July to 3rd September 2023, The Big Dog Art Trail will create a free walking trail through some of Swindon’s most well-loved and historic parks, landmarks and streets and will shine a light on art and culture in the heart of the town. As well as encouraging local residents to re-discover the town they love, the public art spectacle is expected to attract thousands of visitors from outside the town, providing a welcome boost for local businesses.

The trail will end with a grand farewell finale where all of the two-metre high Swindog sculptures will be brought together under one roof. The giant sculptures will then head off to their forever homes after being adopted at a special auction event to raise money for Julia’s House.

The Big Dog Art Trail is being brought to Swindon by Julia’s House and global public art producer, Wild in Art, who has previously hosted trails in cities across the UK and worldwide, including the recent elephant parade in Worcester and Cows in Cambridge.

Visit The Big Dog Art Trail website – www.bigdogarttrail.co.uk/artists – where you can find the Artist Pack and information on how to submit your Swindog design. The deadline for submissions is Tuesday 1st November 2022.

Pictured above: The Swindog decorated by Hannah Dosanjh (photo credit: Jon Bolton)