Shaun the Sheep to Take to the Streets
In 2011, gorillas were scattered around Bristol as part of a huge art event called Wow! Gorillas to celebrate Bristol Zoo’s 175th birthday. Not only could residents and tourists alike wander around the city trying to spot the uniquely decorated sculptures, but after their 10-week showcase they were auctioned off to raise more than £400,000 for gorilla conservation and Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal.
Last year, sculptures struck the city again with giant Gromits (of Aardman’s Wallace and Gromit fame) cropping up all over the place for ten weeks from July. In October, they were auctioned off just like the gorillas were, but this time raising more than £3 million for Bristol’s Children’s Hospital Charity. It was estimated that almost 1.2 million people visited the 81 dogs around the city, 900,000 of which are thought to have come to the city specifically to see the Gromits.
Now it has been unveiled what art trail we can look forward to next year: Shaun the Sheep.
The trail, Shaun in the City, will launch 60 Shauns in London on March 28 next and will run until May 25, running after the release of Shaun the Sheep The Movie. A second trail, with 60 more Shaun the Sheep sculptures, will be displayed in Bristol from July 6 until August 31. In both trails, the 5ft-high (1.52m) will be found in either central or famous locations in each city.
After both trails have reached their conclusion in autumn, the sheep will be auctioned off just like before, this time raising money for sick children in hospitals around the UK.
Shaun the Sheep, who has recently been discovered to be the country’s favourite children’s television character of all time by the British Film Institute and Radio Times in a poll of 41,000 people, made his debut in 1995 in Wallace and Gromit: A Close Shave. Due to the popularity of his character, Shaun got his own tv show in 2007, with his first movie being released next spring.
Aardman creator Nick Park is closely involved in the Shaun the Sheep project and will actually be designing one of the sculptures. He said he was looking forward to seeing how talented artists will add extra colour to the cities. “This opportunity to bring an arts trail to life with Gromit’s pal Shaun the Sheep is baa-rilliant,” he joked. “Shaun is such a well-loved character with fans all over the world… and I am sure many will flock to Bristol to be part of the fun.”
“Following the success of Gromit Unleashed, we can’t wait to bring Shaun in the City to Bristol, where there is so much love and support for Shaun the Sheep and the Grand Appeal,” said Wallace and Gromit’s Grand Appeal Director Nicola Masters. “We know lots of people are already looking forward to welcoming Shaun to Bristol.”