25th July – 1st Sept

twilight barking colour
“The barking takes place at dusk, making the most of the human world falling away into the silence of evening.” Dodie Smith, One Hundred and One Dalmatians

A collaboration between ArcadeCampfa, patients, staff, and therapy dogs at Hafan y Coed Mental Health Unit.

Hafan y Coed: Aaron, Adrian, Andrew, Brian, Callum, Carrie, Ceri, Charlotte, Dai, Daisy, Dave, Emma, Haseem, Hilary, Jodie, John, Josh, Karen, Kat, Liz, Mike, Natasha, Scott, Scarlett, Sharon, Tom and Wayne.

Artistiaid / Artists: Kath Ashill, Alice Banfield, Maisie Cowell, Dog Ear (Emma Edmonson & Lu Williams), Emma Geliot, Gail Howard & Clare Charles, Dylan Huw, Márek Líška, George Manson, Nia Metcalfe, Nagi Noda, Vivian Ross-Smith, Dolly Sen, Anthony Shapland & Joshua Jones, Ellie Young. 

Cwn / Dogs: Acer, Angel, Cali, Flo and Maggie.

Working with Hafan y Coed adult mental health unit Activities Team, the Twilight Barking project looks to explore the animal-human bond, and the way in which animals, and dogs in particular, can comfort, benefit, and promote wellbeing for in-patients at Hafan y Coed. 

The Twilight Barking team: Angel, Maggie, Acer, Flo and Cali, visit the unit once a week on a rotational basis, and support the creative sessions by being the focus for the art making, and also by developing relationships with the patients and bringing a joy and positivity to an otherwise challenging environment.

The time spent with the dogs, and the conversation prompted by them is integral to the sessions. The workshops centre the voice and experiences of the patients, using the human-animal bond as the starting point for making art together, creating toys and accessories for the dogs; creative activities include clay work, weaving, comic book making, and creative writing.

Working with artists who have a connection with animals in their practice, the workshops have culminated in this exhibition at The Turner House gallery, showing work from commissioned artists alongside the work of patients and staff, uncovering some of the enduring potency of the bond between people and dogs. 

Twilight Barking is the communication chain for domestic dogs in One Hundred and One Dalmatians. It was the noisy network that saved the 97 dalmatian puppies from being turned into a coat, but on gentler days was the way the dogs caught up on daily life, communicating important announcements, wild theories, gossip, news and chat.

Twilight Barking has developed out of the ongoing Brief History of Healing project, a collaboration between ArcadeCampfa and Gail Howard. The project is mental health service user-led and seeks to develop work that is centred around patient voices. Previous iterations of the project include Brief History of Healing 1&2, hosted by the Hearth Gallery, University Hospital Llandough, and ArcadeCampfa. More information can be found at gailhoward.net. 

ArcadeCampfa is an artist-run organisation previously based out of Queens Arcade Shopping Centre. More information can be found at arcade-campfa.org. 

To find out more about therapy dogs please see Therapy Dogs Nationwide at tdn.org.uk 

With thanks to Molly Fairhurst for the show image, Lewis Prosser and The Turner House Gallery, our incredible dog handlers Delphine, Di, Jess, Sharon and Stewart, all the patients and staff at Hafan y Coed in particular Karen and Sharon, who took part; also to Dr Wendy Keay-Bright, and Angela and Wales Arts and Health Wellbeing Network for all their support; and to our volunteer and dog champion Scarlett Morley. 

Funded with thanks by Arts Council Wales and Oakdale Foundation. 

The Turner House