Staple Hill’s Gromit set to bring visitors from around the region

Published on: 30 Jun 2013

Gromit

STAPLE Hill’s Fountain Square has a dazzling new attraction which is guaranteed to draw visitors from across the region.

The rainbow-adorned sculpture of Gromit was unveiled on July 1, adding a splash of colour to the square.

The 5ft statue is part of the Gromit Unleashed trail which saw 80 striking models of the famous animated dog hitting the streets of Bristol and South Gloucestershire.

The project is in aid of Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal to raise £3.5million for state-of-the-art equipment and improved facilities at Bristol Children’s Hospital.

The sponsor of Staple Hill’s Gromit is Frank Francis who runs soft furnishing store Top to Bottom in Fountain Square.

The kind-hearted businessman donated nearly £6,000 to the appeal to sponsor the sculpture.

Frank, 54, said: “Hopefully it will bring people to Staple Hill and into the square. It will certainly give people something to talk about.”

Frank was made aware of the project by son-in-law Ben Garmston who works at Aardman Animations, creators of the loveable Wallace and Gromit characters.

Deciding on which of the amazing Gromits to choose turned out to be child’s play.

Ben, 37, said: “When I heard about the project I suggested it to Frank because as a family we have been helped by Bristol Children’s Hospital. He thought it would be great to sponsor a Gromit for such a fantastic cause.

“My wife Becky chose this particular Gromit because our son William, who’s eight, had already drawn a rainbow Gromit. When we had to pick one out we couldn’t believe there was one so similar to William’s picture with exactly the same sequence of colours going up his leg. It was really bizarre. We had to go with that one – we couldn’t possibly not.”

The figures have been designed and decorated by artists from across the UK and Europe including the renowned author and illustrator Sir Quentin Blake.

Celebrities, such as Joanna Lumley and One Direction’s Zayn Malik, have also painted Gromits with iconic designers like Paul Smith and Cath Kidston also putting their own unique touches to the sculptures.

Staple Hill’s Gromit was designed and decorated by the animation director of Disney’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit, Richard Williams.

The project has generated interest from across the globe with submissions from 500 artists all eager to take part in the prestigious art trail.

The sculptures will remain on display until Saturday September 7 before they are auctioned off in aid of Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal.

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