Marwell Zoo Go! Rhinos
In Summer 2013 I was lucky enough to be chosen to paint two rhino sculptures for Marwell Zoo's Go! Rhino's event. The rhinos were placed throughout the city of Southampton, creating a rhino sculpture trail. This fantastic free event lasted for 3 months, attracting an estimated 250,000 visitors to Southampton.
My first rhino was 'Wonderland,' which I painted live in Marland's Shopping Centre, Southampton. Not long after I'd applied her final lick of varnish, 'Wonderland' popped up on BBC South Today alongside Sally Taylor. A proud moment for me, seeing my artwork appearing on the BBC.
I then was lucky enough to be commissioned a second Rhino by Festival Place, Basingstoke. 'Beauty and the Beast' was born in full glare of Basingstoke's shoppers, and I'll never forget the incredible support, comments and enthusiasm that the public gave me whilst I was painting the rhino.
When the trail went live in Southampton, Wonderland could be found alongside the remains of the medieval Holyrood church. Beauty and the Beast meanwhile, sat in the glorious (and fitting) surroundings of the Mosaic garden, in East Park.
After 3 glorious months basking in Southampton's summer sunshine, the rhinos were touched up and auctioned off for charity at the Grand Harbour hotel in Southampton, with all the rhinos collectively raising £125,000 for charity. A hugely successful event that I'm delighted to have been involved in.