We are over the moon about this artist interview in our Gromit Unleashed series, as it is our very own and very lovely Emily Ketteringham. Emily usually creates beautiful screen printed scenes of Bristol (amongst other things) so we are super interested to see how her work translates onto a dog!
Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work?
My name is Emily Ketteringham and I’m a printmaker and illustrator. Among other things, since 2006 I have been working on an expanding collection of screen prints of Bristol buildings and views.
Why did you want to get involved with the Gromit Unleashed project?
How could anyone resist the opportunity to be involved in such a fantastic project? I was really excited and proud when I heard that I had been chosen to paint a Gromit (though this has confused some non-Bristol based members of my family who seem to think I am painting a giant device to go in your ear).
Where did inspiration for your design come from?
In the last couple of years I have painted a number of big Play Houses. My Gromit design was inspired by the style I have developed to smother these Play Houses in colour, pattern and flowers. As I have a small garden, and not very green fingers, I thought I would live my gardening dreams vicariously through Gromit!
Please describe how you designed your Gromit?
Having decided on my theme, I looked through an enormous gardening book to get ideas for flowers. After a fair amount of time day dreaming about my perfect garden, I then drew out my design on the template, scanned it and added colour in Photoshop.
Where are/were you painting your Gromit?
I painted him in April in a top secret (and very cold!) location.
Has it been a challenge transferring your style of work to a 3D dog?
It actually worked surprisingly well. I treated each leg like an individual flower bed, with clump forming plants near his feet and taller plants further up. The main challenge was to stop hugging him long enough to get on with the painting. I challenge anyone confronted with a five foot Gromit not to want to give him a hug!
What Bristol location would your Gromit feel at home?
Anywhere with a bit of greenery.
What is your favourite Wallace & Gromit film?
Curse of the Were Rabbit – I love Lady Campanula Tottington’s fabulous vegetable inspired outfits!
We understand there are many amazing people involved in the Gromit Unleashed trail, which Gromit are you looking forward to seeing and why?
I am really excited about Quentin Blake’s Gromit as I have always loved his illustrations to Roald Dahl’s books – especially George’s Marvellous Medicine. I was lucky enough to see some of the other Bristol artists working on their fabulous designs in the secret Gromit painting location – I especially like Carys Ink’s Gromit as he made me smile every time I saw him.
Can you tell us any behind the scenes Gromit secrets?
Um… Gromit is especially partial to pink flowers.
Pink flowers, a garden Gromit - cor! Exciting stuff. We can't wait to see the finished dog. More information about the trail can be found on Gromit Unleashed website.