Gromit Unleashed began as a public arts trail in Bristol, a collaboration between Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal, the Bristol Children’s Hospital Charity, and Aardman Animations, to raise funds to support sick children and babies at the Hospital. We set out to capture the imagination of the public by adorning Bristol’s streets with 80 giant Gromit sculptures for 10 weeks, before taking the sculptures to auction to help raise funds for life-saving equipment, patient comforts, family facilities and child-friendly artwork at Bristol Children’s Hospital as part of the Hospital expansion.
From small local companies to national corporations, a whole host of businesses generously came on board to sponsor our sculptures and some smashing artists and household names from the worlds of film, music, art, animation and fashion, such as Sir Quentin Blake, Cath Kidston, Nick Park and Disney Pixar, lent their talents to design the dogs.
Whether strolling to the Suspension Bridge or dashing to The Downs, the public took the Gromits to their hearts with over 1.1 million people visiting the trail, using our interactive app, map and passport which could be stamped at 6 iconic Bristol locations. Our charity supporters also got their thinking caps on to fundraise for us Gromit Unleashed-style – from cycle rides to fancy dress days; Morris dances to sponsored pooch walks.
We hosted a shop at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway, which featured our sought-after figurine collection and a unique exhibition. Fans continue to visit today (and shop online) for cracking figurines and merchandise, with every penny of the proceeds going to support Bristol Children’s Hospital.
After the trail ended our Gromit sculptures took up residence together for a grand exhibition, where over 25,000 visitors queued for up to 6 hours to see the hounds.The Gromits then went under the hammer in October 2013 at our grand auction, hosted by Sotheby's auctioneer Tim Wonnacott. The night began with a bang when the first Gromit, Patch, sold for an incredible £36,000! The highest-selling sculpture, Gromit Lightyear by Disney Pixar, sold for £65,000 and our grand total on the night was an astonishing £2.3 million.
To date, Gromit Unleashed has helped raise £5 million for Bristol Children’s Hospital, and we’re still going strong.
Film footage courtesy of Jamie Brightmore.
Sculpture artwork © The Grand Appeal 2016. All artwork rights reserved, except where specified.