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2016 (July - Oct) Great Big Rhinos 2016 - Harry/Cavvy the Triceratops Rhinosaur @RhinosaurCav

The Great Big Rhino Project will bring a world class mass public art event to the streets, parks and open spaces of the English Riviera and Exeter.


For 10 weeks in the summer of 2016, life-size rhino sculptures will inhabit the streets, showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in the area, while highlighting the significant conservation threat facing wild rhinos and how the local business community can make a difference.


Similar Wild in Art events have run throughout the country, including The Great Gorillas Project  in 2013, generating huge increases in footfall, public interest and media coverage providing opportunities for sponsors to benefit from association with and coverage from the project.


The Great Big Rhinos will be invading the streets from Saturday 30th July until Sunday 9th October 2016. They will then be at Paignton Zoo from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October 2016 before being auctioned for charity on Thursday 3rd November 2016. The funds raised from the auction will be used by Paignton Zoo to support rhino conservation.



construction of Harry/Cavvy the Triceratops Rhinosaur @RhinosaurCav

Millions of years ago the dinosaurs who had roamed the earth for millennia died out. Today, rhinoceroses are among the largest living creatures on the planet – but are themselves now on the brink of extinction.

Cavanna Homes commissioned artist Mandii Pope to try to make sure the rhinoceros doesn’t go the same way as the dinosaur, and so Rhinosaur was born!

Once upon a time I made a life-size Darth Vader gorilla. He talked, he breathed, he had a working light sabre and when his helmet came off it revealed the burnt charred scars of Anakin Skyrilla after Obi Wan Kamonkey cut off his legs and arm and left him to burn beside the lava.

I made Darth Vader for The Great Gorillas Project, run by Paignton Zoo. We raised thousands of pounds for gorilla conservation. The sponsors were Cavanna Homes. Three years later, I got an exciting email from Ellie of Cavanna Homes: “Paignton Zoo is launching The Great Big Rhino Project. We’re planning on sponsoring a rhino – will you send in any designs? And would you like to be our artist again?” Yes and yes!

In fact, I had already heard that Paignton Zoo was planning another trail, and I had a great idea - a triceratops rhino! My original design was dinosaur brown, but Cavanna Homes suggested I paint Rhinosaur teal and blue – their company colours. What a great idea! So a lovely blend of sea colours he became.

The idea for Rhinosaur came about for three reasons:

1: I like to adapt the shape of the original structure. I had just created Stormy GoGoDragon for GoGoDragons in Norwich and felt a triceratops would complement the set and be an artistic challenge, and a great stand-out rhino.

2: I wanted a design to portray the serious message about the longevity of rhinos. Creating Rhinosaur sends a very powerful message that if we do not preserve rhinos their fate will be that of the dinosaurs. Future generations will only know about them as though they are myth, from books, movies and stories from older generations.

3: The joy of a 3-year-old. You can’t help but be affected by youth, the joy they bring, the excitement they create when they see something they love. Dinosaurs are a big hit for my nephew Harry, so it had been on my mind to transform a sculpture into one when the right trail came along. Rhino to Rhinosaur seemed a perfect fit!

A beautiful blank white rhino sculpture arrived in early October 2015 to give me plenty of time to build him. Just as I was getting going, removing his ears and sculpting his frill, the ceiling in my flat fell in! With a change of landlords and flatmates, life was against me until Christmas. Nearly three precious months were lost, but by January I was back on track with a roof over my head – literally - and I was back in my studio. Horrah! So, from January until May, Rhinosaur came to life.

Rhinosaur is my 23rd public art sculpture. Every part of his body has been adapted. He is one of my most extensive builds to date. Here’s how I did it:

I started with his head. Firstly, I cut off his ears and constructed an 80cm wooden circular frame to hold the frill. The frame was then built up with chicken wire, fibreglass, foam, more fibreglass, latex and car body filler.

Once the frame of the frill was constructed I made additional horns; two in the front and close to 75 on the head/frill, with a few dozen down his back and tail, plus a beak. He was covered in latex which was then coated with fibre glass to create the scale effect on his head.

To make the scales on his body, I used Liquid Nails coated in Evo-Stik glue then coated with fibreglass resin, then more fibreglass, primer then paint. His tail and toes were a complete build from foam, latex, reinforced fibreglass and more fibreglass. He was then primed, painted and airbrushed with bone detail.

Mid-way through I decided that Rhinosaur - or @RhinosaurCav - needed a prehistoric bird friend on his back, as modern-day real-life wild rhinos are often seen with birds on them. That led to the creation of Ted the Pterodactyl. I thought that Ted might also be a deterrent to help stop people sitting on his back.

And so Rhinosaur was born. I finished him in May, he was relocated to Devon and went to Living Coasts to be part of The Great Big Rhino Project in late July. I hope you all love him. He was a huge amount of work; I hope he raises loads for Paignton Zoo and rhino conservation at the auction in November. I achieved my artistic challenge with him and I hope he portrays the serious message of how much we need to value and preserve these majestic creatures. We do not want them to suffer the same fate and become a distant memory, a fable, a story… to become extinct like the dinosaurs.

Mandii Pope

cavanna homes sponsor the great big rhinos

delivery to living coasts

2016 (July - Oct) Great Big Rhinos 2016 - @AquamaRhino sponsored by Yellowtail Financial Planning

Each side is the polar opposite of the other. On one, deep sea, heathy fish and a rhino that is free.

On the other, the killing of the fish being caught in the nets, which is mirrored on land with rhinos being caught and killed for their horns.

For over 15 years I’ve known Dennis Hall from Yellowtail Financial Planning.  I sold him his office in London 15 years ago and during that time he has become one our most beloved tenants.  I worked in the office building as well as being a full time Artist.  Dennis is more than used to knowing all about Public Art Trails as I make him watch videos and updates of the 23 I have made before.

Dennis spent many years in Exeter before coming up to London, and recently decide to open another office in Exeter.  He heard about the Rhinos and knew I was making a Rhinosaur and decided he wanted to sponsor one too.

I am afraid I can only take credit for the paint finish.  The idea, concept, thought and design is 100% from Dennis.  My guidelines were very specific about the way AquamaRhino was to be created.

Dennis firstly came up with the concept of a Rhino that was symbolic of his company.  Yet also sympathetic the life of the Rhino both free and endangered or worse yet poached.  The design was to showcase an underwater scene.   Each side is the polar opposite of the other. On one, deep sea, heathy fish and a rhino that is free. On the other, the killing of the fish being caught in the nets, which is mirrored on land with rhinos being caught and killed for their horns.

The design was to be painted with Yellowfin Tuna. Dennis wanted the design to become interactive so planned to have 7 Kruger coins strategically placed around the Rhino, the design also featured 6 other fish with a yellow fin including a Yellowtail Butterfly perched on the net of the ear on one side of the rhino.

We both have very high expectations and standards.   I always pour 200% plus into anything I create.  Every step of the way I would send Dennis updates on FB messenger so he knew exactly what to expect before completion and follow the progress along the way.

Initially I drew the design with Yellowtail snapper, the finished design is Yellowfin tuna.  Part way through design whilst awaiting Rhino delivery Dennis contemplated changing the design to a Rhino covered in cherubs.  I drew up half a dozen mock ups and they looked wonderful, however we ended up going back to the original design as it was fluid with the message, the cause, and branding.

It has been an absolute pleasure to work with Dennis on the Great Big Rhinos Project.  He has immersed himself completely into this project.  I love it when a sponsor gets so passionately behind a cause.  He has single handed designed AquamaRhino with a very definite idea of colour tones, composition, colour, back story, hidden meaning, interactive competitions to enhance the message behind the Great Big Rhino’s project whilst tying in with his company profile.

It has been a delight to create AquamaRhino for Yellowtail Financial Planning.  I hope he raises loads when it’s time for auction.

great big rhinos parade

goodbye great big rhinos

great big rhinos auction