Student designed Gromit to go on display at Bower Ashton as part of arts trail

Issue date: 15 June 2018


A Gromit sculpture painted by two UWE Bristol graduates is to go on display at the University's Bower Ashton campus, as part of the Gromit Unleashed 2 public arts trail, which takes place in Bristol over the summer. The artists decorated the dog – one half of the Wallace and Gromit duo in the eponymous animation films – after winning a competition to design the canine character.

Judges Lauren Howard from The Grand Appeal, as well as UWE Bristol academics Julia Bracegirdle and Chris Webster selected Lamiaa Diab and Hend Esmat's design from dozens of submissions. The artists both graduated with an MA in animation this year and, after winning the contest, painted the 1.5m high fibreglass Gromit over two weeks in April alongside fellow artists also decorating sculptures for the trail.

Inspired from the greenery around the Bower Ashton campus where they studied, the two graduates painted their Gromit in shades of green and blue, and adorned it with oriental patterns.

Hend Esmat said: “Coming from Egypt, we thought it would be interesting to use Arabic calligraphy in the design to include something from our culture and also reflect Bristol's diversity. We chose the Arabic letters of the word 'Bristol' to make patterns of the grass and trees surrounding the deer next to the campus, hence the name 'Deerest Gromit'.”

From 2 July - 2 September, their design will join over 60 original sculptures of Wallace, Gromit, and arch-nemesis Feathers McGraw for the Gromit Unleashed 2 trail, organised by The Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children's Hospital Charity.

This year's trail once again features works designed byhigh-profile artists, designers, innovators and local talent, whose sculptures are on display at iconic locations and green spaces around the city where there is high footfall.

Hend said: “It is an amazing experience to be working next to such great and talented artists and we are extremely grateful for this opportunity. We were impressed by their different designs and approaches, and we really learned a lot from them.”

Alongside submissions from professional artists to The Grand Appeal, this contest to design one of Nick Park's animation characters was only open to students at UWE Bristol's City Campus. The campus comprises Bower Ashton, Arnolfini, Spike Island, and Watershed.

Mian Ng, who is Associate Head of Department (Partnerships) at the University's Department of Art and Design, coordinated the student design competition. She said: “For this design category, the organisers wanted to work with accomplished students who have a good knowledge of design techniques and colours.” Mian added: “We were extremely impressed by the range of creative and inspiring design entries.”

Gromit Unleashed 2 follows the huge success of the Gromit Unleashed and Shaun in the City arts trails, which took place in 2013 and 2015 respectively. Together they raised over £6 million for Grand Appeal and attracted some 2.5 million visitors, half of whom were from across the UK and abroad. The events' estimated media reach was over one billion people.

During the arts trail this year, members of the public can view the sculptures at locations including Blaise Castle, Cabot Circus, College Green and The Victoria Rooms. They will then go on to be auctioned in the autumn, with proceeds going to Bristol Children's Hospital and the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit at St Michael's Hospital.

-ENDS-

About Gromit Unleashed 2

Led by Bristol Children's Hospital Charity The Grand Appeal, Gromit Unleashed 2 will see Nick Park's Academy Award®-winning character Gromit return to Bristol in 2018 for his second starring role in the award-winning charity's sculpture trails. But this time he's not alone; the loveable pooch will be joined by his pal Wallace and arch nemesis Feathers McGraw!

Gromit Unleashed 2, in partnership with Aardman, is bringing together the best and brightest of Bristol's diverse creative and tech industries. With the help of its pioneering 'Trailblazers' Creditcall, Renishaw, Rolls-Royce and the University of Bristol, Gromit Unleashed 2 will showcase both Bristol's rich engineering heritage and the city's reputation as an internationally renowned creative and technological hub.

The Grand Appeal supports Bristol Children's Hospital by funding pioneering, life-saving equipment and research, including ventilators, a cardiac hybrid theatre and an inter-operative MRI scanner, so that patients have access to the best possible healthcare and life-saving equipment. We provide free accommodation to families of critically ill patients from the Neonatal and Paediatric Intensive Care Units in our Cots for Tots House and Paul's House, as well as providing a free Family Support service to parents and siblings. We ensure the hospital is a vibrant and child friendly place to help distract young patients through our music therapy, art and play programmes and much more.

Bristol Children's Hospital covers the largest catchment area of any children's hospital in England, treating more than 100,000 children each year, and serves as the paediatric intensive care centre for the whole South West region. The hospital is an international, national and regional specialist centre of excellence for a range of services including neurosurgery, burns, epilepsy, cardiac, leukemia and bone marrow transplants. For more information, visit www.grandappeal.org.uk

Back to top