World-renowned artist creates Swindog design for Swindon's Big Dog Art Trail

By Jessica Durston - 16 May 2023

Arts and CultureAttractions
  • Puppy Love Swindog at Town Gardens - credit Simon Ward Photography

    Puppy Love Swindog at Town Gardens - credit Simon Ward Photography

The Big Dog Art Trail pack say they are head over heels after landing world-renowned artist Kitty Shepherd to decorate a Swindog.

The trail’s artists come from an array of backgrounds and Kitty Shepherd is said to be no different.

She is an internationally recognised British studio potter and ceramic artist, and has brought her talents to the giant fibreglass Swindog sculpture.

Kitty, whose studios are now in Granada, Spain, is sharing the love with her eye-catching design.

With links to the county, her work has been represented by Messums Wiltshire - a pioneering multi-pupose gallery and arts centre in Tisbury, near Salisbury, in Wiltshire.

A lot of Kitty’s ceramic work is based on music, popular culture, and nostalgia, and she has transferred that to her Swindog called 'Puppy Love' - said to be a nod to Donny Osmond.

The sculpture is covered in hearts on a vivid orange backdrop.

It caught the eye of passers-by in Worthing, West Sussex, when it was being created as Kitty hosted an open studio at Colonnade House with the window onto the street acting as a gateway into the process.

Kitty said: “Creating a design and working on a huge dog for the art trail has been a very exciting adventure. I am a ceramic artist and this was a new experience for me to work with acrylic paints on fiberglass.

“I chose this very visible art gallery space in Worthing to work in knowing that it would attract a lot of attention.

“I didn't have much time to look up and see what was happening outside and so the evening round of social media viewing for me was a lovely treat to see who came by. The children in particular had parents returning daily to see 'THE BIG DOG'. 

“It has been a fantastic new experience for me to support a charity in this way.”

Kitty’s sculpture is one of 30 Swindogs that will feature around Swindon on the trail, which will run from 15 July - 3 September 2023.

Chris Hyde, Project Manager of The Big Dog Art Trail said: “We want to give a heartfelt thank you to Kitty for being a part of The Big Dog Art Trail. Her ceramic work is famous around the world and to be able to add her to the artist line-up is a big thing for the trail.

“Her design is stunning and has already proved popular when we have taken it out around Swindon for our promotional photo shoots.”

After the trail is completed, Puppy Love will be up for auction with the other 30 Swindogs, with all money raised going to Julia’s House children’s hospice.

To find out more and sign up for the Big Woof newsletter, members of the public can go to 

Your Comments

Be the first to comment on this article

Login or Register to post a comment on this article

Subscribe to The Link

Registered in England & Wales. No: 4513027, Positive Media Group, Old Bank House, 5 Devizes Road, Old Town, Swindon, SN1 4BJ