Aardman director to paint Gromit as a pirate

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Aardman director to paint Gromit as a pirate

DIRECTOR and Aardman co-founder Peter Lord's next project will be decorating a giant Gromit statue.

The Oscar-nominated director was named as one of the artists getting involved with Gromit Unleashed yesterday and said he would be painting Gromit as a pirate.

Mr Lord, who will be jetting off to Hollywood for the 85th Academy Awards which is taking place on Sunday, is one of the patrons of Wallace and Gromit's Grand Appeal, which supports Bristol Children's Hospital.

The charity is set to benefit from this summer's Gromit Unleashed project, which will see 70 giant statues of the popular character springing up around the city.

Aardman is working with the charity on the project which will see the 5ft sculptures of award-winning dog Gromit decorated by a host of internationally-renowned and local artists, fashion designers and celebrities before they are unleashed on the city for a ten-week public arts trail. They will then be auctioned off in support of The Grand Appeal's fundraising for state-of-the-art equipment, family facilities and child-friendly artwork at the city centre hospital, which is currently being extended.

Fellow animator, charity patron and creator of Gromit, Nick Park will also be redesigning his famous character by decorating one of the sculptures for the trail, which will launch on July 1.

Neither of the Gromit designs have yet been revealed but Mr Lord's is expected to feature a sea-faring theme, in keeping with his film The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists, which has been short-listed for an Oscar in the best animated feature film category.

The film features Hugh Grant as the voice of Pirate Captain, who attempts to win the title of Pirate of the Year with the help of his crew. At the film's Bristol premier Mr Grant met young patients from Bristol Children's Hospital who had been invited for a special screening.

Mr Lord said: "It's a huge pleasure to be part of the Gromit Unleashed project, it's such a wonderful campaign for the city.

"The most important thing to remember is why we're all getting involved, to raise much needed funds for The Grand Appeal.

"The list of artists is still secret, so they tell me, but there are going to be some pretty impressive names involved which will make it a really amazing art trail.

"One thing I'm pretty sure of though is I'll be designing a Pirate Gromit – it's irresistible, isn't it?"

As previously reported in The Post Gromit Unleashed has attracted interest from around the world. Of more than 500 artists who contributed designs there were entries from Malaysia, the United States, Poland and Italy and the charity has already heard from people in Germany and America who have already planned their holidays to coincide with Gromit Unleashed.

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