The logo for the trail
|Medium||Decorated fibreglass statues|
|Owner||Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal and Aardman Animations|
|Followed by||Shaun 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. 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. 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. 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" and similar exhibitions in other cities, including Wow! Gorillas which took place in Bristol in 2011. To date Gromit Unleashed has raised over £5 million for Bristol Children's Hospital.
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, A Close Shave and Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit..
Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal
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.
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. On the first week, Detect-o-Gromit reached #1 on the Entertainment chart and #2 on the Paid chart on Apple's App Store.
In the months prior to the trail, 79 blank fibreglass statues measuring 5 feet (1.5 m) 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. Some of the statues were publicly painted by their designers in the Galleries shopping centre. Each statue was then transported to a undisclosed warehouse in Bristol to be treated with a lacquer 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, but was moved to the Gromit Unleashed HQ for the final week of the exhibition. Sculptures were decorated by a range of artists and celebrities, including Joanna Lumley, Sir Peter Blake, Trevor Baylis and Jools Holland. The Royal Mint and mosaic artist Stephanie Roberts created a special Royal Mint Gromit, decorated with coins. US Animation studio Pixar contributed Gromit Lightyear, based on their character Buzz Lightyear. The sculptures were auctioned in October to raise funds for Bristol Children's Hospital.
In addition a number of smaller Gromit sculptures were distributed to schools and community groups to decorate. 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.
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. It was restored and replaced back on 17 July.
- Carosello by Giuliano Carapia was ripped from its plinth two days into the trail (3 July). It was restored and replaced back on 11 July, to applause from bystanders.
- Groscar by Chris Taylor had its ear ripped off on the night of 17 August. It was restored and replaced back on 28 August.
- Bark at Ee by Leigh Flurry and Patch by Emily Golden were also damaged during the trail.
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. Wonnacott was paid to host the auction, to some criticism, as it was a charitable event. 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.
The pre-auction estimate for the grand total was £1 million; this was exceeded after the 39th statue was sold. Every statue also exceeded the reserve price of £10,000. 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. The grand total raised from the sale of the sculptures was £2,357,000.
Bark at 'Ee was sold for £20,000 to David Clarke, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Law at Bristol University in November, 2013.
List of Gromit sculptures
- All information is taken from the Gromit Unleashed website.
|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!||The Greatest Dog Show on Earth, Bristol||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|
|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|
- We The Curious was called At-Bristol at the time of the Gromit Unleashed trail.
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- "Two more Gromits vandalised in Bristol". ITV News West Country. 2018-08-23. Retrieved 2018-06-18.
- "GIANT GROMITS RAISE OVER £2.3MILLION FOR BRISTOL CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL". Aardman Animations. 2013-10-07. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
- 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.
- "F4J banned from bidding for a Gromit". ITV News West Country. 2013-07-27. Retrieved 2018-07-31.
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- "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 21 August 2014. Retrieved 21 August 2014.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
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