When a year starts with an exciting visit to the -definitively- best dinosaur museum in Europe you can expect that things will get on the move very quickly. I got inspired by the extraordinary dinosaur displays in the Natural History Museum in Brussels, with those classic Iguanodonts that break out of their glass cage in a perfect walking pose, almost a full allegory of the whole Dinosaur Renaissance. I managed to continue the dinosaur trail with the opportunity to preach the Revolution in a successful talk (“Brining Dinosaurs Back To Life”) located in a very unlikely place: A conference called Design For Understanding (Curated by Max Gadney) at St Bride’s Library in the City of London . I think they got the message!
The unofficial tour of “Bringing Dinosaurs Back To Life” continued with a very fortunate visit to Aarhus in Denmark, where I was kindly invited by Christopher Jacob Ries and the university… Needless to say it was a total intellectual plug-in right from the start. Being with all my Danish friends was a thrill and a privilege…. and Aarhus is such a beautiful place!
But it wouldn’t stop there: I was invited by Pedro Viegas and Manabu Sakamoto from the Bristol Dinosaur Project to act as judge in an interesting art competition for different age groups. The challenge: reconstruct Thecodontosaurus. Bristol has always been one of my very favourite cities in England… and I didn’t realise I even had dinofans of my artwork there! Here’s to Charley and his mother Christine, both great -still not well known, but very talented- Paleoartists.
After the successful art competition, I was also invited to give the customary “Bringing Dinosaurs Back To Life” talk at the Wills Memorial building in Bristol… was a bit rusty myself, but got even Dr. Mike Benton hooked, although he was probably expecting a full art masterclass…. no a historical account of the development of the dinosaur image through the ages.
SVPCA in Oxford was an incomplete event for me this year, but even being just one day surrounded by friends was special. The Oxford Natural History museum is definitively the best in England and it was the perfect, sumptuous framework for a great meeting (second time in recent times). Here I am together with Emma Lawler and Richard Hing… and also with Luke Hauser, Georgia Mclean-Henry and Dave Hone.
A highlight of which was an exclusive tour of the vaults of the museum by non other than curator Malgosia Nowak-Kemp herself, who kindly showed us the only authentic remains of that famous recently extinct dinosaur called the Dodo over a glass of wine!
To be continued…