Gromit Unleashed 2 swings into the Bottle Yard

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Fri 27th Jul 2018

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With Gromit Unleashed 2 now in full swing, you might stop and wonder where in Bristol there’s a space big enough to hide many of the 67 sculptures whilst they’re painted before being unveiled to the public?

The top-secret painting headquarters for this year’s trail was The Bottle Yard Studios in Hengrove. For six months, the large majority of Gromits, Wallaces and Feathers McGraws were stored at the film and TV studios, the largest space of their kind in the West of England. The trail’s artists worked their creative magic in the privacy of the Studios’ Tank House 3.

Lauren Howard, Brand Manager at The Grand Appeal commented: “Finding a location for our sculptures and artists is certainly one of the bigger challenges we faced when planning Gromit Unleashed 2; it has to be accessible, secure but also big enough to house so many of our sculptures! The Bottle Yard Studios was such a fitting location as a creative force in the region, and we are incredibly grateful for all their support.”

Fiona Francombe, Site Director of The Bottle Yard Studios said “We’re no stranger to top secret productions at The Bottle Yard but this was definitely one of hardest to keep under wraps! It’s been the most delightful honour to have supported The Grand Appeal. Their trail does an amazing job raising funds for Bristol Children’s Hospital whilst giving Bristol families the most enjoyable Summer activity, we didn’t hesitate to offer space when we knew it was needed.

“Seeing the unadorned sculptures arrive and witnessing their transformation as each artist came in to work on them was truly magical. We were sad to see them leave but very proud to be have been made an in-kind sponsor of ‘The Brystal Maze’ Gromit near the Studios on Hengrove Promenade.”

‘Pickles McPrickles’ comes alive at The Bottle Yard Studios thanks to the handiwork of artist Simon Tozer

HRH the Duke of Kent made a private royal visit to the sculpture collection on 17 May during his official tour of The Bottle Yard Studios, during which he met with The Grand Appeal team and even tried his hand at painting a Gromit.

In June, The Grand Appeal revealed its collaboration with iconic British game show The Crystal Maze (which is made at The Bottle Yard Studios by Fizz, a Banijay Group company), unveiling the exclusively designed 'The Brystal Maze' Gromit, signed by show host Richard Ayoade.

The Gromit Unleashed 2 charity arts trail began on 2 July and will run until 2 September. In total, 67 uniquely designed sculptures of Wallace, Gromit and Feathers McGraw can be found on the streets of Bristol to raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital. The charity’s Detect-o-Gromit 2 app is available to help trail fans locate sculptures and unlock special trophies; with a printed map also available at the Gromit Unleashed shop at the Mall at Cribbs Causeway and other selected locations.

The Grand Appeal has collaborated with a host of other brands, famous film directors, movie producers and film studios to put their own spin on the Aardman characters. Among the sculptures are an official Minions Feathers McGraw sculpture ‘One in a Minion’, a ‘Marshall’ PAW Patrol Gromit sculpture and a ‘Space Oddi-tea’ Wallace sculpture, sporting his best fancy dress inspired by a musical icon. LEGO, Pixar Animation Studios, DreamWorks, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Wes Anderson Swallows & Amazons and Star Trek have all teamed up to make this year’s trail the biggest and best ever.

A collection of miniature sculptures of Feathers McGraw specially designed by school children from Bristol and beyond, will be on display in a free exhibition at the Gromit Unleashed shop at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway for the duration of the trail, where a range of exclusive trail merchandise can also be found. At the end of the trail, all 67 sculptures will be displayed in a grand trail exhibition, The Greatest Dog Show on Earth 2, at The Mall at Cribbs Causeway from September 15-30. They will then be auctioned under the wings of Concorde at Aerospace Bristol in October to raise money for The Grand Appeal.