Wallace and Gromit Statue – Harris Quarter, Preston
Artist: Aardman Animations Ltd and Peter Hodgkinson (Consultant Sculptor)
Artwork Title: Wallace & Gromit Statue
Client: Preston City Council
Designer(s): Ian Banks (Atoll UK)
Contractors: Pete Marquis Contractors
Manufacturer: IP Surfaces Ltd
Supplier: Hardscape Products Ltd
Customer: Castle Fine Arts Foundry Ltd
Ian Banks commissioned as Public Art Consultant by Preston City Council helped manage and oversee the physical install of a large bronze by Aardman Animations in Preston city centre in September 2021.
Ian’s brief was to facilitate and then deliver a permanent public sculpture for the city centre. As part of the new public realm, Oscar-winning animation studio Aardman Animations had been approached by the city council to design and install a permanent bronze of much-loved animation characters Wallace & Gromit. Their resulting bench assembly is now permanently sited outside the main pedestrian entrance to Preston Market.
IP Surfaces collaborated with Art Consultant Ian Banks from Atoll UK and used a combination of Kobra, Kobra Green flamed granites with Premium Black polished granite lettering created by manual stencilling and sandblasting. To complement the inlayed artwork pavers, Magma flamed granite setts was used for the surrounding paved area.
The 7-foot-high bronze statue consists of a full size but stretched traditional street bench where Gromit sits to one side reading his local newspaper. Behind, Wallace wearing the ex-NASA ‘Techo Trousers‘ first bought for Gromit’s birthday in the film, and tilted on one leg, offers passers-by a happy thumbs-up.
When originally commenting on his proposals back in 2007, Nick Park had said: “This is a really exciting project and I’m delighted to be working on the designs for a Wallace and Gromit statue in Preston. As a Prestonian myself, it would be a wonderful honour to have a statue to Wallace and Gromit in my home city.”