Happy New Year, Wallace and Gromit fans! For the holidays this year, I ordered a copy of The Art of Gromit Unleashed, which wasn’t cheap when shipping to the US was added, but was worth it. Between the articles I’ve read on the Gromits and the background information about every Gromit provided in this book, I almost have stopped regretting not booking a trip over the Atlantic to Bristol to see them in person.
Plus, the fine folks at The Grand Appeal included a hand written note with my purchase.
Speaking of Gromit Unleashed, the organization continues to release the figurines for sale on their site and at The Mall, Cribbs Causeway. I’m still hoping that in 2014 they’ll have enough to ship internationally! Finally, one of the Gromits has found a public home: Gromit’s grand new dog house decided by voters
I have already written about some of the exciting things Wallace and Gromit were up to over the summer, but the biggest one of all was the Gromit Unleashed art display in Bristol, UK! For 10 weeks from the first of July Gromit statues decorated by world famous and local artists alike dotted the city of Bristol in a walking tour that attracted thousands. The exciting summer wrapped up with an auction of the statues in September that raised over £2.3 million for Wallace & Gromit’s Grand Appeal charity for children and their families Bristol Children’s Hospital.
As a wrap up, the Bristol Post published a fantastic 32-page booklet titledThe Great Gromit Auction on ISSUU, so you can browse the whole thing online.
Looking for more photos of the gromits? Be sure to visit the Gromit galleries on the Gromit Unleased website for more.
There are figurines being produced of many of the gromits, which will be available on the Gromit Unleashed Shop. Unfortunately they are out of stock but have promised to fulfill demand next year. You can click on the “Newsletter” link on the website to be kept up to date with current developments, including when new figures will be available. And they don’t ship to the United States directly on their website, but I was able to follow the instructions to contact them and just sent in my payment for the The Art of Gromit Unleashed Book – a steep $41.46 including shipping to the US, but I’m sure it’ll be worth it. Hopefully I’ll be able to get one of the figures too when they’re available again.
And perhaps the biggest news of the summer? The amazing Gromit Unleased tour in Bristol where 80 Gromit statues decorated by 80 famous and local artists! But this requires a post of it’s own, coming soon.
Sarah Chidgey has passed along the latest video promoting Bristol and the upcoming 80 Gromit statues coming to the city and writes:
A Grand Tail is a slapstick romp around some of Bristol’s most iconic locations, to publicise the unveiling on 1st July of 80 life-sized Gromits painted by a host of high-profile celebrities and artists, including Harry Hill, Cath Kidson and One Direction’s Zayn Malik. The summer trail and film are aimed at families and couples looking for a UK break or ‘staycation’.
The film features two hapless delivery drivers trying to drop Gromit off in time for the Trail, but getting hopelessly lost in the city.
Tourist attractions in the city include Bristol Zoo, Clifton village, the Harbourside area of town, where the SS Great Britain is docked, two theatres, the recently revamped music and comedy venue Colston Hall, Bristol Museum and @Bristol (a science museum suitable for adults and families), two cinema complexes, plus an enormous range of restaurants and the recently-built Cabot Circus shopping area. Other attractions include the Clifton Suspension Bridge, the Downs, and Leigh Woods.
Check it out here:
In related news, Brunel’s ss Great Britain has announced the arrival of their very own Gromit, “staying with us over the summer and presiding over Brunel Square for ‘Gromit Unleashed’ from Monday July 1st 2013.”
From their press release:
The artist is Thomas W. Dowdeswell; whose piece ‘Being Gromit-Malkovich’ incorporates an abstract cityscape in a Vorticist style. It is an industrial yet contemporary construction which strikes an interesting balance with the historic engineering of Brunel’s ss Great Britain.
Thomas W. Dowdeswell said: “As Gromit is taking over the streets of Bristol, I thought it would be an interesting twist to turn [him] into a cityscape in his own right. Gromit now is not just a dog but an idea, a vision and a hope which encompasses the whole city; on the streets, in our homes, under blue skies and neon-lights people are volunteering to live, at least for a while, in Gromit’s world”
And thanks to the folks at Carbon Costume who create “Famous outfits made from everyday gear” and also reached out to show me a couple recent posts featuring Wallace and Piella Bakewell costumes!
It’s rare when my love for Wallace and Gromit intersects with my career in technology, but today was one of those days! While reading an issue of Communications of the ACM this morning I found an article titled “Saving Private Gromit” (membership required to view, alas) about efforts to preserve and legal issues around preservation of video games, with a focus on the industry in the UK.
Here’s hoping video games of our beloved duo can be preserved for future generations!
Posted in News by Elizabeth Krumbach Joseph |Comments Off
Finally, a couple pieces of news that I’m pretty excited about. First is news brought to my attention by Emily Koch Gromit sculptures to be unleashed on Bristol. I’ll probably not be able to see it in person, but Gromit sculpture all over Bristol, how cool!
And the other big news, a Wallace and Gromit amusement park ride is coming to UK’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach in 2013!
Set to open in 2013, the $7.8 million Wallace & Gromit Thrill-O-Matic dark ride at the United Kingdom’s Blackpool Pleasure Beach will whisk visitors through the world of the eccentric cheese-eating inventor and his anthropomorphic dog.
The 4-minute ride will feature a dozen scenes inspired by the animated short films starring the beloved British claymation characters, including “A Grand Day Out,” “The Wrong Trousers,” “A Close Shave” and “A Matter of Loaf and Death.”
Jana Labaki, Awards manager of the educational charity D&AD, reported that they are are auctioning four original Wallace & Gromit pencil drawings from Nick Park on 3 December!
Educational charity D&AD champions excellence in the fields of commercial creativity. In D&AD’s 50th year, we invited 50 creative greats to design their dream cover for the D&AD Annual, the organisation’s yearly publication.
Designers, advertising creatives, filmmakers, photographers, illustrators and artists have all contributed. The result, a magnificent collection of original artwork.
Of the 50 pieces, 39 are being auctioned online at auction.dandad.org, and 11 pieces, including the Wallace & Gromit drawings, will be auctioned on 3 December. Proceeds raised through the auction will go to the D&AD Foundation, to help support the next generation of creative talent.
The auction is happening on Monday 3 December, at the Gallery at The Hospital Club in London but is by invitation only, to attend please email firstname.lastname@example.org, more details about the auction itself at:
In May Museum Victoria Scienceworks in in Melbourne, Australia opened the Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention exhibit, making Australia the first country outside of the United Kingdom to host the exhibition.
Wallace & Gromit’s World of Invention explores how innovation and inventiveness are a part of everyday life through a series of interactive exhibits modelled on the devices built by much loved TV character Wallace; a resourceful and creative inventor helped by his clever companion, Gromit the dog.
There was a lot of excitement leading up to the next bit of news – a new 1 minute, 14 second Wallace and Gromit tidbit – released for the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee (which apparently is a big deal in the UK, even if we don’t know what it’s about here in the US!). Sponsored by the National Trust they released some teaser photos, a short video and a “making of” video before the Jubilee, covered in the following articles: