Back in 2013, the streets of Exeter and the English Riviera were filled with decorated gorillas. This year international event organiser Wild in Art is back, but this time 42 life-sized rhino sculptures are dotted around the city and South Devon towns.
From Saturday 30th July until Sunday 9th October The Great Big Rhino Project will be taking over Exeter and the English Riviera. The aim of the project is to showcase local artistic talent and highlight the significate conservation threat that rhinos are facing. This unique combination of artistic talent and animal welfare is hard to ignore as you walk through Exeter and the English Rivera, and it has been attracting many visitors in the few days that it has been open.
Local artists from a range of backgrounds were asked to decorate these life-sized sculptures, and they were all encouraged to use their imagination to create a truly eye catching design. Professionals, amateurs, film-makers and graffiti specialists were just some of those who were eager to take part in the exciting project.
The variety of design is impressive. The rhino named ‘Glimpses’, created by Stuart A Right, comments on the sparsity of rhinos in their natural habitat through airbrushed images of rhinoceros and blocks of colour. ‘Blossom’ the pretty rhino, created by Kate Wilson, is covered with an assortment of flowers to highlight the importance of plants in gardens for our native wildlife. Alongside these more serious designs, there are some fun styles too. ‘Sun’s Out, Horn’s Out!’ is a happy rhino by Kieron Reilly and Lynsey Brecknell, he is dressed in his summer beach essentials – ready for a day at one of the many amazing Devon beaches!
Members of the public are being encouraged to find all the rhinos, and a trail map is available to download online. Organisers are also keen for the public to share their snaps and selfies via the project’s social media pages.
Once the 10-week mass public art exhibition is over, all 42 rhinos will be taken to Paignton Zoo where they can be seen from Friday 14th to Sunday 16th October. That will be the public’s last chance to catch a peek at the sculptures, as on Thursday 3rd November they will be auctioned. All funds raised from the sales will be used by Paignton Zoo to support rhino conservation.
For more information about the project, take a look at The Great Big Rhino Project website here