Bristol’s innovative Gromit Unleashed project on track as first statues arrive in city

June 28, 2013

Wallace & Gromit creator Nick Park will have a Grand Day Out in Bristol today as 80 giant Gromit sculptures take up residence at key locations around the city for the Gromit Unleashed project.

Nick, pictured, will drive a steam train loaded with some of the 5ft sculptures of his triple Oscar-winning character along the historic harbour – on board will be his own long-awaited Gromit sculpture and one from US animation studio Pixar.

For 10 weeks from Monday, Bristol will be home to the unique arts trail of the 80 iconic Gromit sculptures. The ground-breaking event, organised by Wallace & Gromit studio Aardman Animations and Bristol Children’s Hospital charity, Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal

The Gromits have been individually decorated by a prestigious line-up of famous names in art, animation, design and entertainment, including Sir Quentin Blake, Jools Holland, Cath Kidston, Sir Paul Smith, Harry Hill, The Beano, Joanna Lumley, Zayn Malik, and The Royal Mint.

Today and throughout the weekend, the sculptures will embark on journeys to their trail locations, delivered by a variety of transport including ferry boat, crane and forklift truck.

Nick said: “I still can’t quite believe how many amazing artists have come on board and re-created Gromit in so many different guises. I am thrilled to be part of such a fantastic, community event and can’t wait to start the trail and do some Gromit-spotting!”  

Nicola Masters, director at the Grand Appeal, added: “It is so exciting to see the project finally come to fruition. Bristol is in store for a real treat this summer with Gromit Unleashed set to attract thousands of visitors from residents to international tourists.”

Around 40 local artists from Bristol and the region will also be taking part in Gromit Unleashed and demonstrating the wealth of creative talent in the city with their wide-ranging designs.

For visitors to the arts trail, a Detect-O-Gromit app has been developed and is available on both Apple and Android app stores. The app costs 69p to download, with all profits going to the Grand Appeal. It provides a complete guide to Gromit-spotting and features exclusive audio and film content, including footage showing top Gromit Unleashed artists creating their sculpture designs.  A trail map showing all the Gromit locations and trail routes will also be available, and an exclusive range of Gromit Unleashed merchandise can be purchased at selected locations.

On October 3 the Gromit Unleashed sculptures, which have been individually sponsored by businesses, will be auctioned to raise funds towards Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal’s campaign to support the expansion of Bristol Children’s Hospital, one of the leading multi-disciplinary children’s hospitals in the UK. To register an interest in bidding, email

The Grand Appeal is working with Wild in Art, a leading arts and education company which produces mass participation events in cities.

With the support of tourism agencies Destination Bristol and VisitEngland, the project is set to help raise the profile of the city to tourists across the UK and beyond.

The Grand Appeal has pledged to raise an initial £3.5m for state-of-the-art equipment, including an intraoperative MRI scanner, family facilities and child-friendly artwork to enhance the £31m investment by the NHS.


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