Arval-sponsored Swindog Leads The Charge

Arval leads the charge in bringing sustainability to the fore of The Big Dog Art Trail

Date published: 10 July 2023

All roads lead sustainably to The Big Dog Art Trail this summer, with New College Swindon student Mimi Salter.

Trail sponsor, Arval UK, is one of three Swindon companies to have taken the unique approach to their Swindog design by joining forces with New College Swindon.

Arval UK, part of the BNP Paribas Group, is a leading provider of sustainable mobility solutions including vehicle funding and fleet management, responsibly funding more than 189,000 cars and vans in the UK – over 35,000 of which are electric vehicles.

To provide valuable work experience opportunities, Arval UK’s Head of Sustainability, Zoe Maitland, set A Level Fine Art students at New College the task of creating a Swindog design that represents their business and will feature on the trail from 15 July through to 3 September.

Zoe said: “We’re incredibly proud that New College students have used their creative talents to design Arval’s Swindog, which we hope will inspire residents and visitors to make sustainable choices as they travel around the Big Dog Art Trail.”

Mimi’s design was chosen by Arval UK after giving a presentation at their UK headquarters in Windmill Hill Business Park, Lydiard Fields.

In her design, Mimi decided to include elements that relate to current and future electric transport, sustainable energy production and then connect these with the local area.

“The quality of the student’s presentations and how they articulated their creative thought processes were impressive. Mimi’s design was chosen because of her attention to detail and her efforts to understand our business and demonstrate that Swindon is an important part of our UK identity alongside our electric vehicles – all of which were conveyed in the Swindog’s design,” Zoe added.

Swindog sponsors Arval with New College artist Mimi Salter who designed their sculpture

The sculpture, aptly called Swin-‘E’-dog, Leading the Charge, will be located at Lydiard Park, one of five sculptures at this location, and Mimi can’t wait to take her friends and family to see it.

She said: “I knew Arval was a sustainable mobility company, so I wanted to include roads and cars in my design and how to make journeys more sustainable for the future.

“I also wanted to make it fun, hence the bright colours that have been used.

“Going to Arval to present to them my design for selection was very scary, but it was also important to learn how to present to people and show my designs to the people there.

“When I found out my design was picked by Arval for The Big Dog Art Trail, I was in my art lesson and I was told by my art teacher and that was a really nice moment.

“To have this sculpture on the trail means a lot to me because I like seeing my art in physical form and especially out in nature, which is what it will be in Lydiard Park.

“It is exciting to think how many people will be coming to see my Swindog.”

New College student Mimi Salter painting her Swindog

In a UK first for Arval, two of the smaller Swinpups will be delivered prior to the official launch by another zero emission vehicle – an electric cargo bike. Arval UK’s community pillar lead and keen cyclist, Stuart Chamberlain, will make the deliveries to the Wyvern Theatre during the afternoon on 12 July.

The Big Dog Art Trail will be raising funds for Julia’s House children’s hospice to help continue to care for the most seriously ill children and their families in Swindon and across Wiltshire.

Mimi’s Swindog will join the 29 others up for auction at the end of the trail. You can bid for your favourite Swindon sculpture at the Grand Auction to be held at 7-9pm on 19 September at the STEAM Museum.

Sculptures Artists App Charity