Paisley pooch: UWE Bristol student Nia's Gromit is unveiled in Bedminster

Issue date: 01 July 2013

Talented student Nia Samuel-Johnson is delighted to see the Gromit she designed in his new home, as the Gromit Unleashed charity arts trail starts today in Bristol.

Her gorgeous paisley-painted Gromit, which is sponsored by UWE Bristol, has been revealed in all his glory at North Street, Bedminster.

Nia, who has just completed the second year of a Fashion degree course at UWE, was one of only 80 artists selected to design and paint one of the giant 5ft tall sculptures.

Nia said, “I feel honoured to have been picked amongst such talented artists.

“Having the opportunity to exhibit my work to such a large amount of people is very exciting. I painted one of the sculptures in the Wow! Gorillas project in 2010, so I knew what to expect.

“As a fashion student I am fairly used to transferring a design from 2D into 3D form - although they usually have two legs, not four!”

Nia's winning idea was chosen from hundreds of entrants in a competition earlier this year. Her design is being featured on the trail along with artistic talents such as illustrator Sir Quentin Blake, hat designer Philip Treacy, Bristol's own graffiti artist Inkie, TV gardener Diarmuid Gavin, Cath Kidston and Sir Paul Smith.

Other famous household names taking part include Joanna Lumley, Harry Hill, Zayn Malik and Jools Holland.

UWE's deputy Vice-Chancellor Paul Gough said, “We are really proud of Nia's achievement – it is great that one of our students was selected out of so many applicants to design a Gromit.

“The Gromit Unleashed arts trail is a great example of how creative a place Bristol is, and taking part will give Nia practical experience in the real world which will stand her in good stead in her future career.

“UWE has long standing links with Aardman Animations through our innovative courses in animation, and the University is also glad to support the Grand Appeal which is such a worthwhile local charity.”

The high-profile event, supported by tourism agencies Destination Bristol and VisitEngland, hits the streets of Bristol for 10 weeks from July 1.

After the trail, the Gromit sculptures will be auctioned in aid of Wallace & Gromit's Grand Appeal. To register your interest in bidding, please visit

All funds from Gromit Unleashed will go towards the charity's appeal to support the expansion of Bristol Children's Hospital.

To view Nia's finished Gromit, as well as photos from the launch event, please vist the UWE Bristol flickr gallery and see Paisley Gromit video.

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