Gromit Unleashed - Artist Interview, Ruth Broadway

Monday, July 15, 2013
Gromit Unleashed launched a little over two weeks ago.  Have you been round it yet?  If not, then let us whet your appetite for all things Aardman and introduce Made in Bristol team member Ruth Broadway. Ruth was incredibly fortunate to paint not one but THREE Gromits... can you find them all?

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us a little bit about your work? 
My name is Ruth Broadway and I normally work as a print maker. 
Why did you want to get involved with the Gromit Unleashed project? 
Everything about this project is brilliant.  The pleasure of getting to paint a giant Gromit, seeing people enjoying them when they’re around Bristol, and being able to play a small part in raising funds for the children’s hospital. I was lucky enough to have been asked to take on the design and painting of initially 2 Gromits for Trevor Baylis [British inventor of the wind-up radio] and Philip Treacy [milliner to the stars!], then at the 12th hour I was also asked to paint a small one for David Spoxton [Aardman founder]. 
Where did inspiration for your design come from? 
It was suggested by the charity that the Trevor Baylis one should be based on Baylis himself. Philip Treacy sent an image of a cluster of butterflies. David Sproxton wanted a Gromity version of a Phrenology bust. 
Please describe how you designed your Gromit? 
The Trevor Baylis design shows his trademark moustache, Gromit is a ‘wind-up merchant’ wearing inventor’s overalls with pockets full of tools and a blueprint.  The badges on the overalls show some of Baylis’ inventions and achievements, including his ‘electric shoes’ and his time spent as a professional swimmer and aqua stunt man! The Philip Treacy design reflects his range of butterfly hats, Gromit has his own cluster of butterflies for a hat! David Sproxton’s design came from a list of words supplied by Sproxton and Nick Park.

Where are/were you painting your Gromit? 
I was working at Aardman HQ, I’m dead lucky, it was a great space. 
Has it been a challenge transferring your style of work to a 3D dog? 
A paint brush isn’t my normal weapon of choice so painting in itself was a step out of my comfort zone, but I loved it. There were some tricky to reach areas, and I’m sure anyone watching would have been laughing a some of the odd twisted positions I got myself into in order to apply the design. 

What Bristol location would your Gromit feel at home? 
The Mshed for Trevor’s, Maybe the botanical gardens for Philip’s. [Trevor’s is actually on Redcliff Street, Treacy’s is inside The Old Vic and Sproxton’s is on the ferry]
What is your favourite Wallace & Gromit film? 
Got to be The Wrong Trousers 

We understand there are many amazing people involved in the Gromit Unleashed trail, which Gromit are you looking forward to seeing and why? 
Simon Tozer’s - always excellent at what he does so it should be good.

Thanks Ruth - wow, lady, you are a talent to produce three quite different looking Gromits.  We can't wait to see them in situ.

For a look at all of the Gromit Unleashed artist interviews, please click here.

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