Gromit Unleashed - Artist Interview, Laura Cramer

Friday, August 16, 2013

Laura Cramer's Gromits are causing a stir with their beautiful intricate paintings, we caught up with her and asked her how it was painting such beautiful designs...

Please can you introduce yourself and tell us the inspiration behind your Gromit design? 
My name is Laura Cramer and I paint colourful semi abstract oil paintings. I am quite well known locally for my Bristol cityscapes.   I submitted three very different designs and to my delight, two of the designs were chosen. I wanted my Gromit designs to be inspired by artists who have gone before me, so both my designs are based on artists from the past. My first sculpture is Vincent van Gromit, who is a tribute to both Gromit and the great Dutch painter himself. I wanted the chance to try and encourage adults and children to “look at Bristol through Vincent’s eyes”, i.e if Vincent had come to Bristol, what he might have seen, and how he might have painted our beautiful landmark scenes. My second Gromit “The Five a Day Dog” is inspired by the Renaissance painter Guiseppe Archimboldo, who (in the mid to late 1500’s) painted portraits of himself as a combination of fruit and vegetables.  I thought it could be fun to play on the national guidelines of 5 fruit & veg a day, in a “Laura Ashley meets Cath Kidston” type design.  There is also an underlying message or reminder of the need to eat well and healthily particularly when recovering in hospital from an illness. 

How was it creating a 3d dog? 
I painted both Gromits at the public studio space at Broadmead where the public could just meander by and take a look. It was quite hard keeping Vincent’s identity a secret, as it got to a point in the painting, when people were starting to guess who the character was…..sunflowers on the feet, a bandage on his ear…..starry night scenes of Bristol on his jacket! I was inspired by fellow artist Tom Berry to “sit” Gromit up on a stool, allowing me to get to the trickier parts.  My lower back was very grateful for this discovery. An ironic twist to Five a Day became apparent when I was told where he was to be located i.e. a few doors down from my local fruit and veg shop off the high street close to my home. In fact, en route to painting Five a Day, I would stop off and buy some fresh fruit and veg to use as studies in my painting. It was very frustrating not to be able to tell them what I was up to! Now that he in place, the cat’s been let out of bag….or should that be the dog let out the bag….. 

Where can we find your Gromit?
Vincent is number 4 on the official map, located just off the Triangle, where Elmdale Road and Woodland Road intersect, located at the corner of the boundary of Bristol Grammar School. His Sponsor County Contractors have done an extraordinary job in collaboration with BGS to provide a specially constructed “kennel” for Vincent, with steps up to the viewing area, and mirrors around the paneling, to allow people a full view of the cityscapes on his jacket. The icing on the cake is that at night, the display area lights up with small LED lights formed in the star constellation of Canis Major (the Greater Dog), making the scene truly a “starry, starry night” Five a Day Dog is located on Henleaze High street (down from Lloyds my local green grocers)outside his Sponsors CJ Hole Estate Agents.

Thanks Laura!  You can find Laura's dogs on the Trail Map at:

4 - Vincent Van Gromit
Location:  Elton Road

68 - Five a Day
Location:  Henleaze Road

For more information please visit Gromit Unleashed website, where you can download a trail map or an app for your phone.

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