Well, it had to happen: a veritable heavyweight of a setting for the SVPCA. I had never been in Edinburgh before and we were simply taken aback by the beauty and personality of this city. A veritable monument that exudes history in every corner… and that is not counting the incredibly lively, rich, cosmopolitan and multi-national social life!
We were there promoting the Hatching the Past itinerant exhibition (which by the way is going from the MUJA in Asturias to Citta Della Scienza in Naples November this year) and as usual, Carmen and I brought our little stand of provocative art material and got (as usual too) mixed reactions (some clever SVPCA attendant asked me sardonically “where do you get the evidence for the colours?”)…thankfully quite a lot of feedback was positive. Some even got to peruse my only copy of the “Golden Book of Dinosaurs” (soon to be released… just a couple of months)!
Later it was mandatory to fool around with the Pterosaur Gang… everybody asked for pterosaur art this year, but alas didn’t bring any of mine! Next year for sure. David Hone and I are preparing a future surprise! From right to left: John Conway, Ross Alexander Elgin, Mike Habib, David Hone. Lorna Steel, Darren Naish, Mark Witton and yours truly. The Pterosaur.net assembly!
The conference was successful. I specially enjoyed the sauropod presentations by Mike Taylor et al., Jeff Liston’s experiences in China, the unique “punk” acoustic guitar moment by Luke Muscutt where the academics were left totally dumbfounded by what was happening…never the engineering of plesiosaur fins movement sounded so much fun!… …and of course, Darren Naish sex talk!) .
The meeting was very well organised by Vicen Carrió, Sarah Stewart, Stig Walsh, Nick Fraser and the inimitable skills of Jeff Liston, a proud Scot who as usual made a spectacle of the final auction… I can’t believe I missed those ichthyosaur casts; they went for a lot >less< than their real value! Unfortunately, bringing them to London would have been very difficult (to say the least). Here’s “you see him and then you don’t..” Mr. Liston in his act… do you know how difficult was it to have a focused picture of him?
The National Museums Scotland was also a surprise… extremely well mounted and attractive in every sense. The exceptional taxidermy of some of the pieces puts to shame most museums in England… look at this pair of dinosaurs in high flight!
Not too many extinct dinosaurs but at least a nice mount of Kathy Wankel’s T. rex . It is amazing the many different mounts that exist from that famous skeleton (first one I saw was at the Ontario Museum in Toronto more than a decade ago) it looked much more stiff and compact there and the pictures I took gave rise to a famous, almost relict painting that is now in the Indianapolis’ Children’s Museum (as part of the John Lanzendorf Collection) and is soon to be featured as a banner there . Compare both mounts…you may add that there’s a lot to be modified if I did that painting today!
So there it goes another SVPCA, a conference many of us here in England long for every year if only just for the sake of the “get together” of so many paleo-people to whom I’d like to thank for their support, like the Spanish and Catalan contingent (with my dear Penélope Cruzado Caballero and Angel Galobart among others), Jorn Urum who brought me as a gift the excellent book “Ida” by Esther van Hulsen (a great Norwegian illustrator that is producing really imaginative books for children), Richard Forrest and of course the rest of the not-so-pterosaur gang: Rob Nicholls, Georgia Maclean-Henry, Richard Hing and many more.