An exhibition of ‘Gromit Unleashed’ sculptures never seen before in the UK will go on display at The Grand Appeal’s shop at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway from next week!
The 16 designs were created as part of ‘The Greatest Dog Show On Earth’ exhibition in Hong Kong in July 2014.
The exhibition will run for ten weeks from 1st February to 10th April and be free to enter, with a suggested £2 entry donation welcome to The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital charity.
‘The Greatest Dog Show On Earth’ followed the overwhelming success of The Grand Appeal’s ‘Gromit Unleashed’ trail in Bristol in 2013, which saw 80 Gromit sculptures designed by artists, designers and celebrities raise £2.3million at auction for Bristol Children’s Hospital.
The following summer, 70 more five-foot and three-foot Gromit designs went on display in Hong Kong’s ELEMENTS mall. The sculptures were displayed on a specially-built two-tiered carousel, with an enormous, four-metre-high Gromit as the centrepiece. At the end of the exhibition, the sculptures were auctioned to raise funds for The Grand Appeal and children’s art programmes in hospitals across Hong Kong.
Just like the Bristol trail, the Hong Kong sculptures were created by an array of well-known artists and designers, including several home-grown talents! Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park designed ‘Sweet Dreams’ Gromit for the international event, and Wallace & Gromit’s creative director, Merlin Crossingham and fellow Aardman designers Gavin Strange and Ashley Boddy also decorated sculptures.
Gavin and Ashley will officially open the exhibition at 9.30am on Monday 1 February, and chat to Gromit fans about their designs, ‘GRMT02’ and ‘Year of the Gromit’.
To celebrate the exhibition, ‘Sweet Dreams’, ‘GRMT02’ and ‘Year of the Gromit’ figurines will be available at three for the price of two from 1st February until 10th April (while stocks last). All proceeds from The Grand Appeal’s figurines and other merchandise helps support sick children at Bristol Children’s Hospital.
Gavin Strange, senior designer, Aardman, said, “I am over the moon to be involved in bringing the Hong Kong ‘Gromit Unleashed’ sculptures to Bristol! My design, ‘GRMT02’, is my homage to the gigantic robots made iconic in the animations from the East. ‘GRMT’ stands for Giant Robotic Mutt Transporter and I like to imagine there’s a real-life Gromit inside the robotic suit! The ’02’ in the name is a reference to it being the second Gromit I designed for the project, as I also designed ‘Stat’s The Way To Do It, Lad!’ for the Bristol trail.
“I am honoured to have the privilege of opening the exhibition alongside my friend and colleague Ashley. I can’t wait for people to come and see the variety of designs, and once again engage with the spirit of fun that Gromit brings. It’s a real pleasure to be a part of something that is so special and so creative, while highlighting the brilliant work of The Grand Appeal in helping sick children at Bristol Children’s Hospital.”
Lauren Howard, brand manager, The Grand Appeal, said, “The Grand Appeal is celebrating its 21st anniversary in 2016, and we’re starting the celebrations with this very special new exhibition! We’re very excited to give fans of ‘Gromit Unleashed’ the chance to see some of our brilliant Hong Kong designs for the very first time, as well as speak to two of our most talented and imaginative artists, Ashley and Gavin.
“We hope to welcome lots of visitors into our shop at The Mall over the next 10 weeks for a closer look at these colourful canines. I am sure many may well find a new favourite Gromit among them!
“All funds raised by donations to the exhibition, as well as all our ‘Gromit Unleashed’ figurines and merchandise, will help us to continue to support sick children at Bristol Children’s Hospital.”
The exhibition will be open from 9.30am to 9pm Monday to Friday, 9am to 9pm on Saturday and 10.30am to 5pm on Sunday.
‘Gromit Unleashed’ merchandise and figurines are also available to purchase online, from www.wallaceandgromitcharityshop.org.uk.