…I managed to find the time over a weekend a couple of weekends ago to complete a piece of work as an entry to the 2012 SERCO Illustration Awards sponsored by Transport for London and the Association of Illustrators. The brief was as usual a single word to be interpreted as you see fit – ‘Secret’ London. My research took me to various places, from the gory to the sordid to the obvious and eventually to something really quite bizarre – the Dinosaur sculptures in Crystal Palace Park. In all my visits to London I had never heard of them but they truly are quite remarkable. They were commissioned in 1852 and unveiled in 1854 and were the first dinosaur sculptures in the world, pre-dating the publication of Darwin’s ‘On the Origin of Species’ by 6 years. They were designed and sculpted by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins with the help of Richard Owen and have been Grade 1 listed since 2007.
As palaeontology has developed the sculptures are now thought of as a little out of date and inaccurate in appearance and for that reason I chose to produce the artwork with a more 21st century ‘feel’ and to appeal to all ages from the very young to the young at heart. The blue head utilises the London Transport ‘Roundel’ for an eye and the River Thames for the mouth and chin area.
I have titled the image simply – “Ssshhh!”
This is the description that I submitted with the entry:
A bright colourful image to advertise the world’s first dinosaur sculptures from 1854 by Benjamin Waterhouse Hawkins that reside in Crystal Palace Park, pre-dating Darwin’s ‘Origin of Species’ by six years.
Intended to appeal to all ages, with simple, recognisable shapes for the very young (rather than the sculptures themselves) and to hold enough interest for the young at heart!
Wish me luck!…