A statue of Wallace and Gromit is to be unveiled in Preston, home town of their creator Nick Park. The pair will be sculpted with Wallace wearing the “techno trousers” that brought him grief in Park’s Oscar-winning film The Wrong Trousers.
The statue is intended to attract more visitors to the Lancashire city as coronavirus rules ease and is due to be installed outside Preston Markets in August. It will feature Gromit sitting on a bench reading a newspaper while Wallace – resplendent in his ex-Nasa trousers – balances on one leg giving the thumbs up.
Park’s British stop-motion animated films have won him a total of four Academy Awards and made cheese-loving Wallace and his long-suffering dog Gromit household names. “It is such a great honour for me, as a proud Prestonian, to see my characters Wallace and Gromit cast in bronze and given pride of place in my home town,” said Park last week.
The statue has been designed by Nick Park and the Bristol-based studio Aardman Animations working with Preston sculptor Peter Hodgkinson, who has also made statues of the city’s late football icon Sir Tom Finney and artist LS Lowry. The piece, which is being made at the Castle Fine Arts Foundry in Wales, will be funded from the government’s towns fund.
In an interview with the Guardian in 2009, Park said he believed the reason why Wallace and Gromit remained popular is because they were very British. “The fact they’re made from plasticine means their faces can convey emotions very subtly. Gromit says a lot just by raising one sardonic eyebrow.”
John Chesworth, chair of the Preston Partnership and the Preston Towns Fund Board, described Parks as one of the town’s most famous living Prestonians and said it was great to celebrate his achievements with the sculpture. “We very much look forward to welcoming the duo to Preston and to inviting people to come into the city centre to visit them.”