Saturday, July 6, 2013

Gromit Unleashed - Giant painted cartoon dogs at large in Bristol

Giant cartoon dogs on the streets this summer
Giant cartoon dogs are coming to the streets of Bristol this summer. "Gromit Unleashed" is a charity fund-raiser from Aardman Animation, a public art exhibition in which giant sculptures of Gromit, decorated by specially invited artists and animators, have been unleashed on the streets of Bristol.

Above you can see Dad's design - a special rainbow Gromit, titled Roger. On the left is a Gromit by Simon Tofiel (of Simon's Cat fame) who has covered Wallace's sidekick in tiny cat illustrations.

Dad said: "All the colours we can see are in the rainbow, and I thought it would be attractive to see Nick Park's Gromit designed as a rainbow".

Below is an inventive summer strawberry Gromit by Simon Tozer.

Simon Tozer's summer strawberry Gromit

You can also find Gromits decorated by artists such as Nick Park, Paul Smith, Cath Kidston, Quentin Blake, Martin Handford, (Where's Wally), and Richard 'Golly' Starzak, creator of Shaun the Sheep.

Below is Peter Lord's pirate Gromit.

Peter Lord's Pirate Gromit
At the end of the summer, the sculptures will be auctioned to raise funds for Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity. And there is an online shop where you can buy figurines.

Nick Park, who created Wallace & Gromit, described the grand appeal as "a charity close to my heart and I hope that Gromit Unleashed will hugely contribute much-needed funds for the Appeal."

Last of all, here is a Gruffalo Gromit by Axel Scheffler, of Gruffalo fame.

Gromit by Axel Scheffler
You can see pretty much all the Gromit sculptures at

Bristol has a very good track record on public art.  It is one of the few places in the UK which openly treasures the public graffiti by Banksy. Maybe it's because Banksy comes from Bristol, and so the city feels a certain sense of local pride.

Banksy has done lots of work in London but the humorless drones of Westminster Council insist on painting them out. Here's one from my archive - a lovely mural painted on to the otherwise unlovely south wall of the Poland St Post Office in Soho. Sadly, now long gone.

One Nation Under CCTV
The joke is even funnier when you realise that the whole thing was painted in full view of a CCTV camera pointing at the wall.

The Philistines at Westminster Council said that they would remove any graffiti, regardless of the reputation of its creator, and added that Banksy "has no more right to paint graffiti than a child". This is what Robert Davis, the chairman of Westminster Council planning committee told The Times: "If we condone this then we might as well say that any kid with a spray can is producing art."

Well, it was there for a while, at least.


(Editor's note: you can also see Alex's contribution to last year's Big Egg Hunt, here)

No comments:

Post a Comment