Creative Futures first became interested in enhancing the rhino sculpture in Lincluden in 2017. At the Creative Futures Hoose Warming event in July 2017 they invited the original artist Robbie Coleman to talk to the community about it’s background and ask, What’s next? A clean? A new colour scheme? A friend? Many people said they would like to see it cleaned and brightened up.
They had the opportunity to design there own paper rhino statue with a new colour scheme and pattern. In January 2018, Creative Futures employed Public Art project worker Kirsty Turpie and gave her the task to build on the initial workshop.
After discussion with local groups and community members it was decided that Kirsty would run a series of mosaic workshops to create boards to be placed on to the rhino base. After further consultation a rainforest theme was chosen, building on previously designed patterns and to tie in with the natural habitat of a rhino.
Workshops were held at Lochside Gala and Nithraid festival, and with Primary 3’s at Lincluden Primary, the Rhino Keepers Youth Group and community workshops at Lincluden Community Centre to complete the mosaics.
For the metal work surrounding the mosaic panels, spray paint designs were made in collaboration with the Primary 1 and Primary 7 class at Lincluden Primary School. Pupils contributed their drawings of the rainforest which were transformed in to designs for the four sides of the base.
Kirsty and local spray paint artist Ben Biddlescomb ran a two day drop-in spray painting workshop in April 2019. Pupils from Lincluden primary school and the wider community were invited to make their mark on the rhino statue painting part of the designs.
The final artwork was launched on Monday 6th May 2019 with a celebration afternoon for the community. Mocktails, snacks and games were provided as well as the opportunity to view the final artwork. The new artwork has received much media attention and there has been great feedback from the community. The Primary teacher at Lincluden primary school has thanked Creative Futures for the fantastic opportunity for her pupils to be a part of transforming the community. Local residents have also said that they are excited to see their children’s artwork.
The area where the rhino statue sits is on the main walking route from Lochside and Lincluden in to town, and also sits near the well used A75 road. From foot and car, it has visibly brightened up the space, and now offers something to walk up to and look round instead of walk past.
Find out more about the Creative Futures Lincluden and Lochside project over on their website here
Image credits: Stacie Geddes