TV favourite Kirstie Allsopp has decorated a unique piece of three-dimensional charity art - a life-size gorilla.
The presenter, interior designer, crafts and property expert has come up with a design as part of Paignton Zoo’s Great Gorillas Project.
The project is celebrating the 90th birthday of the region’s largest and best-known zoo, Paignton Zoo Environmental Park, and is raising money for charity. Life-size model gorillas have been sponsored by businesses, painted in original designs by specially-commissioned artists and displayed in public, creating a unique free art trail around Exeter and the English Riviera.
Paignton Zoo Director of Marketing & Development Pippa Craddock said: “We are very pleased to have such a significant name on board. The project is an amazing mix of art, education, conservation and public engagement. Kirstie has an inspiring, bold and original style which is reflected in this beautiful step and repeat heart design.”
It fell to Enigma Signmakers and Print Studio, based in Paignton, to turn the design into reality. Director Martin Smith: “Enigma became involved in the project after a discussion with Paignton Zoo. There was one big challenge – to print Kirstie’s flat, two-dimensional design on vinyl and apply it to a gorilla, where there are no flat surfaces whatsoever!”
Enigma used a material from the US called Arlon DPF 6000 XRP Cast Film. Martin: “It’s designed for vehicle graphics but due to its properties is suitable for unusual shapes – like gorillas!
“We first produced a digital print on the Arlon vinyl. This stuff is extremely conformable, and by the careful application of heat an expert can make it fit any surface. It was a painstaking process to complete the coverage. But it was worth it.”
Hearts, which is on show indoors at Cockington Court during the trail, is sponsored by RH Partners, the full service marketing agency based in Exeter.