Bella Kerr: Civic Dog (Walks)

I commissioned Matthew Otten, designer, to make 100 laser-cut slate dogs. The dogs were displayed at the Civic base – the glass porch of the old library building – until they were ‘distributed’ by participants on city walks, to be found (or lost) over future days, weeks or years. The design of the dogs was intended to be accessible, a ‘friendly’ object to find, to become part of the city whether found or lost.

Two walks were made through Cardiff – one between the old centre and the dock area, from Cardiff Castle to Bute St, to ask ‘What is History?’ – the other from Grangetown to sites in the city centre to ask ‘What is the Role of Architecture?’

The walks were reported by Denise Kwan through writing and by Paul Treweeks through photographs.

Download Denise Kwan’s commissioned writing here:
Civic Cardiff Walk and Talk | A tall margarita glass

Bella Kerr, ‘Lucky Dogs


Opening Walk, October 19th: Introduction to the City
Walking route: City Centre, Grangetown, Cardiff Castle.

The first walk: disposing and hiding the slate dogs, throwing into the river, sharks, telephone wire sewn into a skirt, Grangetown, trespassing into a hidden garden, the full river and Cardiff Castle’s clock tower shuddering and speaking down the street at 5.07pm Sunday.

– Bella Kerr, artist
– Anna Barratt, artist
– Ruth Cayford, Cardiff Contemporary Curator
– Louise Hobson: artist & curator
– Jason&Becky, collaborative artists

2nd November 2014: ‘What is the role of architecture/the architect?’
Walking route: ‘InRoads’ Wellbeing Centre, Neville St, Grangetown to the Smart Bridge/Callaghan Sq.


  • Bella Kerr, artist
  • Jonathan Arndell, architect
  • Mags and Steve, InRoads managers/project workers – speaking at Inroads
  • Amanda Roderick, Director, Mission Gallery, Swansea
  • Anna Barratt, artist
  • Denise Kwan, artist and writer
  • Elizabeth and Brian, retired teacher and engineer
  • Paul Treweeks, architect and photographer. See Pauls photographic report below for his book:

5th November 2014  ‘What is history?’
Walking route: Cardiff Castle to Butetown and Cardiff Bay
visiting BayArt Gallery and the Butetown History and Arts Centre


  • Bella Kerr, artist
  • Steph Mastoris, Director, Waterfront Museum, Swansea
  • Jo Hartwig, artist working on canals and waterways project
  • Caroline Humphreys, specialist in housing
  • Denise Kwan, artist and writer
  • Glenn Jordan, Director BHAC – speaking at BHAC
  • Phil Nicol – speaking at BayArt Gallery

Bella Kerr, Cardiff Walks

In the images below, Bella can be seen walking throughout Cardiff city with selected walkers as they leave a trail of quietly placed slate dogs – small enough to be slipped into a pocket or lost forever.

The idea of ‘knowing’ the city is considered as a way to address the idea of urban space as simply a series of problems. Could we change the way we see and use city space – to change our experience? Are there ways to create change other than the building of permanent structures? Can we invite those who often don’t have a voice to think about the city?