Domini Canes – Hounds of God: Simon Patterson

Axis Projects is delighted to announce the launch of this publication.

This book is the definitive reference on the Domini Canes commission from Lowood Gallery and Kennels, Cumbria that Simon Patterson undertook nearly 10 years ago. Not until now has it been properly documented.

The publication includes an interview with the artist by Patricia Bickers and historical notes on the Monastery of San Marco and its frescos that inspired Simon’s work.

Extract from interview in book with Patricia Bickers:

Q: How did you make the leap from the idea of prison cells to the idea of monk’s cells, specifically the cells frescoed by Fra Angelico and his assistants for the Dominican Convento di San Marco in Florence?

A: The genesis of the work is no longer so clear in my mind after all this time, but so many things seemed to point me in a particular direction – not least the idea of dogs guarding the Christian ‘flock’. It was an added bonus, too, that Jeremy was familiar with San Marco, having spent time in Italy many years earlier and he quickly caught on to what I wanted to do and encouraged me.

Obviously entry to a monastery, unlike a prison, is generally voluntary, but there are otherwise many similarities. I distinctly remember, for instance, being struck by the strict routine of feeding, grooming, and exercise that shaped the day, both for the kennel staff and for the animals in their care. At some point this, and the obvious need to segregate the sexes, must have chimed with my sense of a monastic order. I also thought the name, Lowood Pet Hotel, was amusing but also true because in a way the kennels function somewhat like a retreat, both for the animals and their owners, which also has an obvious religious resonance.

When I went to Florence the year before my first visit to Lowood – to oversee the publication of a book that was being printed there – I took some time out to visit San Marco. I was astonished by the intimate scale of the cells, and by the fact that each cell is individually frescoed with a different contemplative image. I translated this by the simple means of having the walls of the kennels painted in different colours. I chose colours that corresponded as much as possible to those used for fresco painting at the time, principally earth pigments such as yellow ochre, burnt umber, red earth, ultramarine blue and variations in between with the addition of white. In other words: yellow, red, blue, brown and white.


ISBN 978-0-9554825-4-0

72pp foil and blind embossed hardback

42 colour words and 7 reference images

Dims 220 x 172mm portrait

The format of the publication references the look of Kennel Club stud books

It is an edition of 500, of which the first 100 have a numbered and signed, tipped-in digital print by the artist

the special edition also has a marker ribbon and black endpapers, standard edition has white endpapers and no marker ribbon


For multiple copies please contact Alan Ward for discount options at

For trade enquires please see trade terms and contact Alan Ward at



Signed & Numbered Limited Edition

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Standard Edition

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Simon_Patterson_Domini_CanesSimon Patterson: Domini CanesSimon Patterson: Domini CanesSimon Patterson: Domini CanesSimon_Patterson_Domini_CanesSimon PattersonSimon Patterson: Domini Canes



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