Executive Travel & Sightseeing

Gromits get together for Greatest Dog Show on Earth

80 decorated Gromits have been touched up and polished after their ten-week stint on the city’s streets over the summer and are back on public view.

The Greatest Dog Show on Earth was opening its doors today to give Gromit fans their only chance to see all 80 of the giant sculptures together.

The space inside the former Habitat building on Queen’s Road provides the perfect backdrop to showcase the colourful designs on the 5ft dogs, with the light reflecting off the shiny sculptures.

And like a real-life dog show, the various incarnations of Wallace’s side-kick have been split into classes. There are the rare breeds, working dogs, toy dogs, Bristol dogs and space dogs.

The best in show category has been set aside for creator of Gromit, Nick Park’s, own reimagining of the character – covered in newspaper alongside his faithful friend Wallace, while the pedigree class was reserved for the original Gromit, which spent the summer in London’s Paddington station.

The Greatest Dog Show on Earth will be the only chance people will get to see all 80 of the Gromits together under one roof before they are auctioned off to raise money for Bristol Children’s Hospital charity the Grand Appeal on October 3.

It will also be a chance for people to see some of the smaller Gromit statues which were decorated by schools, patients in the children’s hospital and community groups, as well as the sculptures that were on a Bristol ferry and sightseeing bus.

An additional secret Gromit commissioned by Visit England and decorated as an old-fashioned suitcase complete with stickers, which will also be up for auction, will also be on display in the exhibition.

Nicola Masters is the director of the Grand Appeal, which worked with Bristol-based animation firm Aardman to set up Gromit Unleashed. She said: “It is lovely to see all the Gromits that have been out on the streets of Bristol for ten weeks during the trail coming together and looking shiny and new, and even a little bit happy.

“They look happy to be together, perhaps because they have worked so hard over the summer months being loved and hugged by so many people.

“This is our own little pup-up gallery: every one of the dogs is a piece of art. Every one is different, painted, crafted and designed by artists who are experts in their own fields, which is why we hope when the auction comes on October 3 so many people will be interested in having a unique piece of art on the lovely, cuddly Bristol character of Gromit.”

Ms Masters said it would be hard to estimate just how many people will visit The Greatest Dog Show on Earth but said that people from all corners of the UK and even Japan have said they will be visiting to see all 80 sculptures together.


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