Published 2nd October 2023

Aardman, Cabot Circus and Upfest to unveil new mural in Bristol

Aardman has partnered with Cabot Circus and Europe’s largest street art festival, Upfest to create a new iconic mural in Quakers Lane, celebrating the creativity of Bristol and featuring many of Aardman’s most enduring characters.

The 11.5m high mural by local artist Dave Bain, interprets beloved characters from Aardman’s animated worlds including Shaun the Sheep, Wallace & Gromit, Morph and Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget, and is based on an original artwork conceived by designer and illustrator Lorna Harrington, an emerging creative talent within Aardman. These characters are cleverly interspersed with famous Bristol landmarks including the Clifton Suspension Bridge, Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, and the hot air balloons that grace Bristol’s skies.

Dave Bain’s idiosyncratic illustrations are colourful, distinctive, wildly expressive and feature stylised characters. This brightly coloured artwork interprets Lorna’s original illustration of the famous Aardman characters, known the world over, but originally created in Bristol.

Artist Dave Bain explains:This mural is a brilliant example of what can be achieved by working together as a creative community. Lorna provided a great initial illustration for this piece, and it was inspiring to see the process of how Aardman’s animations are created in the process. The team embraced my interpretation of their characters, and how I wanted to capture the iconic characteristics of joy and energy which are present in each of them. Cabot Circus is a fantastic location for this piece to be enjoyed by Bristolians and city visitors alike and I hope to see people heading down to see the vision come to life.”

The colourful artwork is the latest way the destination is engaging new audiences and presents the perfect photo stop for families on a leisurely half-term day out. Customers feeling creative will also be able to book art-inspired workshops at Prior in Quakers Friars or grab a cheese toasty in true Wallace and Gromit style from a pop-up mobile cheese shop by Bristol favourites The Cheese Connection, from Saturday 21 October.

Lucy Wendover, Marketing Director at Aardman, comments:We are so happy to reveal this exciting collaboration, designed to bring a little bit of Aardman joy into the heart of the city centre and celebrating Bristol's rich artistic community. The finished mural design created and interpreted so brilliantly by Dave Bain will have lots of our own characters woven into a distinctly Bristol landscape and we can’t wait to see it emerge.”

Sarah Tinsley, Director of Marketing & Placemaking at Hammerson adds:Collaborating with local artists and creatives is just one of the innovative ways we are evolving our assets, including Cabot Circus, from places where people come only to shop to ‘destinations’, offering a real mix of entertainment, leisure and social experiences. Bristol is renowned for its daring and colourful street art, so it made sense for us to work with Aardman and Upfest to create a mural which celebrates this creativity and engages customers in a fun and exciting way.”