Gromit Unleashed

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Gromit Unleashed
Gromit Unleashed Logo.jpg
The logo for the trail
ArtistVarious designers
Year2013 (2013)
MediumDecorated fibreglass statues
LocationBristol, London
OwnerWallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal and Aardman Animations
Followed byShaun in the City

Gromit Unleashed was a public charity art trail led by Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal and Aardman Animations, in which 80 giant artist-decorated fibreglass sculptures of Gromit were displayed on the streets of Bristol and the surrounding area between 1 July and 8 September 2013.[1] At the end of the art trail, the sculptures were auctioned to raise funds for Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity.[2] The Grand Appeal pledged to raise £3.5 million for state-of-the-art equipment for Bristol Children's Hospital, including an intraoperative MRI scanner, family facilities and child-friendly artwork to help save the lives of sick children at the hospital. All funds raised by Gromit Unleashed contributed towards this.[1] The project follows the concept of the "Land in Sicht", the original Swiss project by artistic director Walter Knapp which inspired the subsequent worldwide exhibition "CowParade"[3][4] and similar exhibitions in other cities, including Wow! Gorillas which took place in Bristol in 2011.[5] To date Gromit Unleashed has raised over £5 million for Bristol Children's Hospital.



People in Wallace (right) and Gromit (left) costumes, raising money for the charity

Gromit is a dog belonging to an eccentric inventor, Wallace, in a series of claymation films produced by Aardman Animations, based in Spike Island, Bristol. Three of the films in the Wallace and Gromit film series have won Academy Awards: The Wrong Trousers,[6] A Close Shave[7] and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit..[8]

Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal[edit]

The aim of Gromit Unleashed was to fundraise for Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal. Founded in 1995, the charity raises funds for paediatric medical equipment at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children and St. Michael's Hospital. In collaboration with Aardman, it uses the characters Wallace and Gromit as mascots for the charity.[9]

Funds were raised through the sale of trail maps, merchandise, and Detect-o-Gromit, a smartphone app, aimed at helping users find the Gromit sculptures, costing 69p per download.[10] On the first week, Detect-o-Gromit reached #1 on the Entertainment chart and #2 on the Paid chart on Apple's App Store.[10]



A Gromit statue prior to decoration. These undecorated statues were distributed to celebrities and artists to freely design.

In the months prior to the trail, 79 blank fibreglass statues measuring 5 feet (1.5 m)[11] in height were distributed to designers and celebrities selected by Nick Park. Each recipient was free to design their statue as they wished, producing a vast array of designs.[11] Some of the statues were publicly painted by their designers in the Galleries shopping centre.[12] Each statue was then transported to a undisclosed warehouse in Bristol to be treated with a lacquer[12] and erected onto a concrete plinth.

On 1 July 2013, the statues were distributed around Bristol and tourist attractions in the Greater Bristol area. One was also placed at London Paddington station,[13][14] but was moved to the Gromit Unleashed HQ for the final week of the exhibition.[15] Sculptures were decorated by a range of artists and celebrities, including Joanna Lumley, Sir Peter Blake, Trevor Baylis and Jools Holland.[16] The Royal Mint and mosaic artist Stephanie Roberts created a special Royal Mint Gromit, decorated with coins.[17] US Animation studio Pixar contributed Gromit Lightyear, based on their character Buzz Lightyear.[18] The sculptures were auctioned in October to raise funds for Bristol Children's Hospital.[19]

In addition a number of smaller Gromit sculptures were distributed to schools and community groups to decorate.[20] Bristol tourism staff have estimated that Gromit Unleashed could bring as much as £58 million to the city during the two-month display, with many visitors expected from the United States and Japan, where Wallace and Gromit are popular. The local media reported on the use of a new word "Gromiting", being used on social media sites to describe the search for the sculptures.[2]


An empty plinth while Poetry in Motion was being repaired.

Due to the openness of the outdoor sculptures in the trail, they were vulnerable to vandalism. In total, five sculptures were vandalised during the exhibition:

  • Poetry in Motion by Joanna Lumley was removed before the first day of the trail on 28 June, after vandals ripped off its tail.[21][22] It was restored and replaced back on 17 July.[23]
  • Carosello by Giuliano Carapia was ripped from its plinth two days into the trail (3 July).[16] It was restored and replaced back on 11 July, to applause from bystanders.[24]
  • Groscar by Chris Taylor had its ear ripped off on the night of 17 August.[25] It was restored and replaced back on 28 August.[26]
  • Bark at Ee by Leigh Flurry and Patch by Emily Golden were also damaged during the trail.[26]


On 3 October 2013 the 81 statues, alongside 11 smaller statues, were auctioned off at a special event hosted by Sotheby's auctioneer and TV presenter Tim Wonnacott, in a marquee at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway.[27] Wonnacott was paid to host the auction, to some criticism, as it was a charitable event.[28] The pressure group Fathers 4 Justice were reportedly banned from bidding on one statue, Hero, over claims that it would use the statue for publicising their campaign if they won it.[29]

The pre-auction estimate for the grand total was £1 million; this was exceeded after the 39th statue was sold.[30] Every statue also exceeded the reserve price of £10,000.[30] The Gromit which attracted the highest bid was Gromit Lightyear, designed by Disney Pixar and based on the Toy Story character Buzz Lightyear which sold for £65,000.[31] The grand total raised from the sale of the sculptures was £2,357,000.[27][32]
Bark at 'Ee was sold for £20,000 to David Clarke, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Law at Bristol University in November, 2013.[33]

List of Gromit sculptures[edit]

All information is taken from the Gromit Unleashed website.[34]
Name Original Trail Location Designer Sale price
A Close Shave Bristol Tourist Information Centre Harry Hill £24,000
A Grand Day Out Temple Quarter Enterprise Zone Andy O'Rourke £24,000
A Mandrill's Best Friend Bristol Zoo Vivi Cuevas £18,000
aMazing Gromit Cheddar Gorge, Somerset Tom Berry £24,000
Antique Rose The Mall at Cribbs Causeway Cath Kidston £30,000
Astro Dog Millennium Square Ignition DG Ltd £21,000
Bark at Ee Queen Square Leigh Flurry £20,000
Being Gromit Malkovich SS Great Britain Thomas Dowdeswell £21,000
Blazing Saddles DoubleTree by Hilton, Bristol City Centre Carys Ink £21,000
Blossom The Downs Emily Ketteringham £24,000
Bristol Bulldog Bristol Airport Dan Shearn £26,000
Bumble Boogie Colston Hall Jools Holland £20,000
Bunty St Mary Redcliffe Paula Bowles £31,000
Bushed Royal West of England Academy David Inshaw £24,000
Butterfly Bristol Old Vic Philip Treacy £20,000
Canis Major Hotel du Vin, Bristol Katy Christianson £26,000
Carosello Spyglass, Welsh Back Giuliano Carapia £16,000
Collarfull Castle Park Hannah Cumming £22,000
Creature Comforts Riverside Garden Centre, Clift House Road Sneaky Raccoon £19,000
Dog Rose Whiteladies Road Ros Franklin £20,000
Doodles Cabot Circus Simon Tofield £34,000
Eldoradog Westonbirt Arboretum, Gloucestershire Seb Burnett £28,000
Feathers Gloucester Road Dave Bain £25,000
Fiesta Avon Gorge Hotel, Clifton Lindsay McBirnie £28,000
Fish Tales Blue Reef Aquarium Jeremy Wade £20,000
Five a Day Dog Henleaze Road, Henleaze Laura Cramer £22,000
Gizmo Art of Gromit Unleashed Shop, Upper Maudlin Street Quentin Blake £32,000
Gnashional Gromit Bristol Marriott City Centre hotel The Beano £28,000
Golden Gromit Victoria Rooms Julie Vernon £30,000
Grant's Gromit Ashton Court Rosie Ashforth £36,000
The Green Gromit The Mall at Cribbs Causeway Zayn Malik £26,000
Grom Voyage![35] The Greatest Dog Show on Earth, Bristol[36] Vivi Cuevas £20,000
Gromberry The Pump House, Hotwells Simon Tozer £32,000
Gromit London Paddington station Aardman Animations £35,000
Gromit Lightyear Showcase Cinema de Lux, Cabot Circus Pixar £65,000
Gromit-o-Matic Brunel Mile, Bristol Donough O'Malley £26,000
Gromitasaurus The Galleries Huncan Daskell £24,000
The Grommalo Bristol Central Library Axel Scheffler £26,000
Groscar Thunderbolt Square, Bristol Chris Taylor £28,000
Grosmos Harvey Nichols, Cabot Circus Cheba £28,000
Grrrrromit Windmill Hill City Farm Carys Ink £26,000
Harmony The Beaufort Arms, Hawkesbury Upton Marie Simpson £23,000
Hero Subway, Bristol city centre Tom Deams £26,000
Hound Dog Arnolfini Peter Blake £28,000
Hullaballoon Arnos Vale Cemetery Monster Riot £26,000
Isambark Kingdog Brunel Bristol Temple Meads railway station Tim Miness £36,000
It's Kraken, Gromit! The Downs, Bristol Filthy Luker £18,000
Jack Hargreaves Lansdown, Anchor Road Martin Band £36,000
The King King Street Stephen McKay £25,000
Lancelot Quakers Friars Paul Smith £22,000
Lodekka Lawrence Hill Roundabout Ignition DG Ltd £28,000
Malago Broadmead Dan Collings £24,000
May Contain Nuts (& Bolts) Inside Bristol Temple Meads railway station Natalie Guy £30,000
National Treasure M Shed Royal Mint £28,000
NewFoundLand The Matthew, Bristol Harbour One Red Shoe £30,000
Newshound Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery Nick Park £50,000
Nezahualcoyotl Stanfords, Corn Street Joseph Dunmore £20,000
Oops a Daisy Tyntesfield, Wraxall Diarmuid Gavin £22,000
Paisley North Street, Bedminster Nia Samuel-Johnson £21,000
Patch Clifton Hill Emily Golden £36,000
Poetry in Motion College Green Joanna Lumley £35,000
Poochadelic County Cricket Ground, Bristol Lisa Hassell £25,000
Roger Top to Bottom Ltd, Staple Hill Richard Williams £29,000
Salty Sea Dog The Cascade Steps, Bristol city centre Peter Lord £32,000
The Secret Garden Lye Cross Farm, Redhill, Somerset Sarah Jane Grace £44,000
Sheepdog The Mall Gardens, Clifton Richard Starzak £23,000
Ship Shape & Bristol Fashion Sion Hill Sarah Matthews £26,000
Sir Gromit of Bristol St George's Bristol Ian Marlow £28,000
Snow Gromit Junction 3 Library, Baptist Mills Raymond Briggs £32,000
Stat's the Way to Do It, Lad Aardman Animations Gavin Strange £29,000
Steam Dog We The Curious[Note 1] Dan Shearn £26,000
Sugar Plum Redgrave Theatre Celia Birtwell £22,000
TutanGromit I Bristol City Museum and Art Gallery Dale Evans £24,000
Two Eds are Better than One Woodlands Lane, Bradley Stoke Peter Brookes £23,000
Vincent van Gromit Elton Road Laura Cramer £25,000
Watch Out Gromit! M Shed Gerald Scarfe £50,000
What a Wind Up Redcliffe Street Trevor Baylis £25,000
Where's Wallace Marriott Royal hotel, Bristol Martin Handford £30,000
Why Dog? Why? St Nicholas Market Mark Titchner £18,000
The Wild West Cribbs Causeway Retail Park Amy Timms £22,000
Zodiac Arnolfini Inkie £24,000

See also[edit]


  1. ^ We The Curious was called At-Bristol at the time of the Gromit Unleashed trail.


  1. ^ a b Koch, Emily (17 June 2013). "Gromit Unleashed: Everything you need to know". Bristol Post. Archived from the original on 23 July 2013. Retrieved 30 July 2013.
  2. ^ a b Mathias, Vicki; Beard, George (10 July 2013). "Gromit Unleashed: Now we're all going "Gromiting"". This is Bristol. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  3. ^ "CowParade 2008 in Madrid". Aktuelle (in German). September 2008. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  4. ^ "CowParade 2012". Belfast City Council. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  5. ^ "Bristol Zoo gorilla statues raise £427,000 for charity". BBC Bristol News. 30 September 2011. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  6. ^ "The 66th academy Awards (1994) Nominees and winners". The academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 21 March 1994. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  7. ^ "The 68th Academy Awards (1996) Nominees and Winners". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 25 March 1996. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  8. ^ "The 78th Academy Awards (2006) Nominees and Winners". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. 5 March 2006. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  9. ^ "About Us". Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal. Retrieved 2018-03-07.
  10. ^ a b "Thousands Visit Gromit Unleashed in First Month". Heart Radio. 2013-08-01. Retrieved 2018-03-28.
  11. ^ a b "Gromit sculptures to be unleashed on Bristol". ITV News West Country. 2012-11-15. Retrieved 2018-06-29.
  12. ^ a b Eames, Tamsin (2013-04-19). "First glimpse at famous Gromit unleashed designs". ITV News West Country. Retrieved 2018-07-30.
  13. ^ Kay, John (28 June 2013). "Walkies! Designer Gromits unleashed". BBC Bristol News. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  14. ^ "Burges Salmon lets London Gromit off the leash". Burgess Salmon. Retrieved 2013-07-29.
  15. ^ "Paddington Station Gromit comes to Bristol". ITV News. 2013-09-07. Retrieved 2017-12-30.
  16. ^ a b "Second giant Gromit sculpture vandalised in Bristol". BBC Bristol News. 1 July 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  17. ^ Owen, James. "Gromit unleashed – the making of 'The National Treasure'". Official Blog of the Royal Mint. Royal Mint. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  18. ^ Warrens, Sophie (28 June 2013). "Cracking good job, Gromit! Wallace and Gromit creator Nick Park unveils sculptures in Bristol". The Independent. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  19. ^ "Giant Gromit sculptures let loose in Bristol for arts trail". BBC Bristol News. 28 June 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2013.
  20. ^ Staff. "Schools". Gromit Unleashed. Gromit Unleashed. Retrieved 29 July 2013.
  21. ^ Child, Ben (2013-07-01). "Gromit has bad day out as Aardman animation sculpture vandalised". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  22. ^ "Gromit sculpture decorated by Joanna Lumley vandalised hours after going on display in Bristol". The Independent. 2013-07-01. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  23. ^ "Joanna Lumley Gromit back on display after tail repaired". BBC News. 2013-07-17. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  24. ^ "Vandalised Gromit repaired and returned to plinth". BBC News. 2013-07-11. Retrieved 2018-06-22.
  25. ^ "Third damaged giant Gromit sculpture in Bristol damaged". BBC News. 2013-08-19. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  26. ^ a b "Two more Gromits vandalised in Bristol". ITV News West Country. 2018-08-23. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
  27. ^ a b "GIANT GROMITS RAISE OVER £2.3MILLION FOR BRISTOL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL". Aardman Animations. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  28. ^ Greenwood, Carl (2015-09-30). "Tim Wonnacott SLAMMED for being paid to take a charity auction raising money for sick children". The Mirror. Retrieved 2018-02-12.
  29. ^ "F4J banned from bidding for a Gromit". ITV News West Country. 2013-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  30. ^ a b Payne, Richard (2013-10-04). "Auction winners get their Gromits" (video). ITV News West Country. Retrieved 2018-03-03.
  31. ^ "Gromit statues auction raises £2.3m for Bristol Children's Hospital". BBC News.
  32. ^ Morris, Stephen (2013-10-04). "Gromit statue auction raises £2.3m for Bristol hospital". The Guardian. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
  33. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  34. ^ "The Gromits". Gromit Unleashed. Retrieved 2018-03-12.
  35. ^ "Gromit Unleashed, Lot 71". i-bidder. Retrieved 8 October 2013.
  36. ^ "Gromit fans meet the 81st statue". ITV. 19 September 2013. Retrieved 8 October 2013.

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°27′N 2°35′W / 51.450°N 2.583°W / 51.450; -2.583