Students Have The Fairest Swindog For The Wyvern Theatre

Students will be hoping they have the fairest Swindog of them all as they link up with The Wyvern Theatre

Date published: 18 June 2023

New College Swindon students have been cast to complete a panto-inspired Swindog design for The Wyvern Theatre for The Big Dog Art Trail.

The Wyvern Theatre, who were announced as one of the trail’s sponsors earlier this year, are one of three companies who have teamed up with the college to give students a chance to showcase their skills and provide important work experience.

The Level Two Art and Design students were given a brief by the theatre on how they wanted the Swindog to represent their upcoming panto show, Snow White, which will run from December 2 to December 31.

The students then produced their designs which went before a selection committee with six being chosen and amalgamated into the final design.

The Swindog, which will located at the theatre in Swindon town centre, will be one of 30 larger-than-life balloon dog sculptures that will feature on the trail from July 15 through to September 3.

Course lead Heidi Nardoni said: “It’s been really exciting being involved in The Big Dog Art Trail and it has been a break away from their usual units of work.

“Our students are getting to work with a work experience project which means something in their local community.

“Six designs were selected and we have pieced together the best bits to make what will be the final design to present the panto on the trail.

“Thousands of people will see the student’s work, everyone who goes to the theatre will see it and it encourages engagement in the arts in our local community, so we are really proud to be part of this amazing project.”

New College lecturer Heidi Nardoni with the Wyvern Theatre Swindog in the background

Laura James, Theatre Director at the Wyvern Theatre added: “We have been really honoured that the students at New College agreed to design and create our Swindog.

“At Swindon Theatres, we love to showcase and encourage local talent and to be able to provide great opportunities for the budding young artists of Swindon.

“We are all incredibly excited to see the final design of our Swindog, which will be on proud display in the Wyvern Theatre foyer. Seeing the amount of talent, creativity, hard work, and dedication from the students working on this project has been such an inspiration.”

Lewella is one of the Level two Art and Design students who has been painting the Swindog at the college and can’t wait to see the Swindog out on the trail.

She said: “It’s really fun having the opportunity to show my work to thousands of people and working in a team to deliver the Swindog.

“I’ve grown up seeing different trails and it will be fun to have my work on one and I can’t wait to show it to my friends and family.”

Level two Art and Design student Lewella painting The Wyvern Swindog

Anushka, another of the Level Two Art and Design students added: “My part of the design is the forest where Snow White lives and it will have lots of trees and animals that live in the forest.

“It is a good opportunity for me to have the chance to have my work on display although it is quite a challenge as well.”

The Big Dog Art Trail, which will be raising funds for Julia’s House children’s hospice, wouldn’t be possible without the amazing volunteers.

We are looking for Big Dog helpers to support the trail by being on hand to speak to members of the public about the trail, give advice on the map and the app and report damages to the Big Dog maintenance team.

Can you help get tails wagging? Find out more at or call the volunteer team on 01202 644220.

Sculptures Artists App Charity