Issue date: 04 October 2013
UWE Bristol has purchased Sheepdog Gromit in support of the Gromit Unleashed auction that raised £2.3 million towards the Wallace and Gromit Grand Appeal for the Bristol Children's Hospital.
UWE bidders joined in the nail biting auction that was live streamed to an audience of over 17,000 people. Bidders from around the globe competed against a Bristol based audience at the Auction last night presided over by auctioneer Tim Wannacott who presents the BBC programme 'Bargain Hunt' and is a regular expert on Antiques Road show.
Professor Steve West, UWE Vice Chancellor said, “We are now the proud owners of Sheepdog. We have very close relationships with Aardman and with the Bristol Children's hospital and we took the view that it would be good to cement these relationships by helping to keep a Gromit in Bristol.
“Aardmans have been one of the longest standing industrial and cultural partners of UWE Bristol with many of our staff, students and alumni working on their award winning features and commercials.
“We will tour the UWE Gromit around all of the UWE Campuses, most probably sited in the Campus Libraries but this is yet to be determined, and he will ultimately be housed at a yet to be agreed location on the Frenchay Campus.
“In terms of our global ambitions we think Gromit will appeal to international students and the phenomenon of Gromit Unleashed is a legacy that we are extremely proud to show a strong connection with.”
Keith Hicks, UWE's Director of Communications was at the Auction, he said, “We originally went in seeking to buy Paisley, the Gromit designed by UWE student Nia Samuel Johnson, but the bids went sky high right from the beginning and we had to up our original budget. It was nail-biting right up until the last moment as we were lucky to win the 79th out of 81 bids. We are delighted with 'Sheepdog' as he has strong Bristol connections.”
Sheepdog was designed by Richard Starzak and painted by Jane Kite. Richard Starzak is the award winning Director of Shaun the Sheep, Robbie the Reindeer, Rex the Runt and Creature Comforts and works as a Creative Director of the Broadcast Development at Aardman. Richard's design was inspired by Shaun the Sheep controlling a 'Troy' style Gromit.