Great Gorilla!

The University has signed up to be part of The Great Gorillas Project, launched by Paignton Zoo to celebrate 90 years of conservation and education. Exeter will be sponsoring a fantastic piece of three dimensional art – a life size Gorilla!

All students are invited to submit a design for a gorilla and the winning design, chosen by a panel of judges, will receive £250 and have their work recreated by a professional artist.

How can you get involved?

Download the Great Gorillas Project – Entry Form, your design must be submitted on this form.

You are encouraged to name your Great Gorilla, although it should be noted that the Gorilla’s name may be chosen independently from the design. Submissions should be dropped to the SID desk in the Forum, or alternatively please email your design. Please note, hard copy submissions are unable to be returned – you are therefore advised to take a photocopy of your submission (you are encouraged to submit the original).

The closing date for entries is Friday 10 May 2013.


It doesn’t matter if you’re not artistically talented; anyone can get involved with this exciting project. When thinking about your design or an idea for a design you should consider the following:

  • You can enter as a team or as an individual.
  • The aim of Great Gorillas is to engage the local community of Exeter, with a mass exhibition of public art.
  • Great Gorillas will provide a trail around the streets, parks and gardens of Exeter and Torbay encouraging thousands of people to enjoy the spectacle.
  • When planning your design, you should bear in mind that the audience will be broad-based and of all ages, and so the design should be appropriate for public display. Designs that are overtly religious, political or sexual in nature will not be accepted. Additionally, no logo’s or advertising are allowed on the gorilla.
  • Great Gorillas is a celebration of 90 years of conservation and education.
  • Items may not be attached to the Great Gorilla and the basic gorilla shape cannot be altered.
  • Student’s may enter up to three gorilla designs.
  • Your design will be recreated by a professional artist in acrylic paint.  Your design therefore needs to be able to be recreated in this medium, and needs to be able to be recreated by the artist in a realistic timeframe.
  • By entering, you agree to participate in marketing and promotion of the Great Gorilla Project – including photo shoots and interviews. Shortlisted designers will be invited to an evening reception where the announcement of the winning design will be made.

The Sculpture

The Gorilla weighs approximately 30kgs and measures 120cm long, 140cm tall and 60cm wide.

It is manufactured using a mixture of Class II fire retardant laminating resin and chopped roving fibreglass over an initial brushed-on layer of polyester gel coat. Then several layers of chopped strand matting fibreglass are hand-laid, wetted with the laminating resin to the point of full saturation.

A judging panel, made up of Lady Lucy Studholme (Vice-Chair, Exeter Northcott Theatre), Geoff Pringle (Director of Campus Services), Jon Bagnall (Guild VP, Campuses & Participation), Dom Jinks (Head of Arts & Culture) and John Stephens (Forum Manager) will look at all of the designs.  A decision on the winning design will be made in mid May.  The result will be announced at a drinks reception to which shortlisted designers will be invited.  The artist will then discuss with the winner how best to bring the winning design to life, and will paint the gorilla “live” in the Forum.

The designer of the winning entry will have their Great Gorilla brought to life by a professional artist and it will be included in the Great Gorillas trail which runs from 3 August 2013.  The winner’s name will be acknowledged on the plaque that is placed on the plinth that the gorilla is fixed to, on the Great Gorillas website, on the Trail Map, Trail app, in the Souvenir Guide and on any other printed or digital media and in any media coverage.  A cash prize of £250 will also be presented to the winner.

Unfortunately you won’t get to keep your Great Gorilla at the end of the event as all of the sculptures will be auctioned for conservation projects. You will however receive photographs of the Great Gorilla, a Souvenir Guide and two invitations to the Gala Auction on the evening of Wednesday 6 November 2013 at the Palace Theatre in Paignton.


The small print

If your design is the winning design, you will be required to sign a “Copyright and Design Right Assignment”.  By signing this, you are indicating your understanding that you are assigning the entire right, title and interest to your design to Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, the organisers of the public art event.

Any questions?

Email or call John Stephens (Forum Manager) on 01392 726478

To get some inspiration, these websites may help you:

Lots of Razz love, Becky xx

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