Swindon Ready To Adopt The Big Dog Art Trail

Big Dog Art Trail Featured Artist: Mike Pringle

Date published: 26 May 2023

The Big Dog Art trail wouldn’t be possible without our amazing artists and we love telling their ‘tails’.

Our featured artist section showcases those who are dedicating their time and skills to giving the Swindogs their glistening coats.

Our artists come from far and wide, but leading the way are those based right here in Swindon.

Mike Pringle is one such pillar of the Swindon art and culture scene and was selected to design his Swindog – Gone Wild.

Mike, who has produced a number of sculptures around the town, also helps run the Richard Jefferies Museum, which is situated on the edge of Coate Water Country Park in Swindon.

The museum is where the nature writer was born and the Mike has dedicated his design, which is sponsored by Persimmon, to the writer’s works.

“I was thrilled that my design was selected.

“I’ve been involved in the arts and heritage of Swindon for years, so when The Big Dog Art Trail popped up, it just seemed like the perfect thing for this town.

“I am connected with the Richard Jefferies Museum, which has a real focus on nature and wildlife in this area, and I just thought it would be good to bring that to life on one of these sculptures.”

Mike Pringle, artist

Swindon artist Mike Pringle painting his Swindog called Gone Wild

There will be 30 supersized Swindogs in total, plus around 40 smaller Swinpup sculptures, which will be decorated by schools, colleges and community groups.

As a Swindon artist, the trail means a lot to Mike.

He has been working on his design in the shared painting space at the carriage works in Swindon, which has been kindly donated by Swindon Borough Council for the duration of the project, and has shared the experience with other Swindon-based artists.

He believes that the Swindon community will embrace the trail and shows the art scene in the town is as vibrant as it has ever been.

He added: “All of the time I have been in Swindon, it has felt there has always been arts going on under the surface.

“Last year we had this big thing with murals popping up across the town and this year with the art trail, it feels like there is some real momentum with urban art and people from the community really engaging.

“Because there will be 30 of the sculptures, plus all the Swinpups, everywhere you go in Swindon you’ll be able to see the trail and people in Swindon will really rally behind it and everyone will be talking about it.”

Swindon artist Mike Pringle painting his Swindog called Gone Wild

Running from 15 July to 3 September 2023, the art trail will end with a grand farewell finale where all of the Swindog and Swinpup sculptures will be brought together under one roof.

The giant one-of-a-kind sculptures will then head off to their forever homes after being adopted at a special auction event to raise money for Julia’s House children’s hospice. And the smaller Swinpups will be returned to the schools and community groups that created them.

“We are super proud to be giving a platform to Swindon artists to showcase their art in their town,” said Chris Hyde, Project Manager for The Big Dog Art Trail.

“Along with the mural designs which are coming back this summer, there is a real buzz around the art scene in Swindon.

“We were blown away by the Swindon entries and those that have been selected are creating some fantastic designs which we can’t wait to share with the public once the trail goes live.”

Find out more about the other artists and find out where the Swindogs and Swinpups will be located around Swindon here.

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