Bring back the Southsea Dinosaur

Visualisation of the Luna Park tribute bronze artwork alongside the Luna Park 10 Years virtual reality digital dinosaur by Studio Morison, 2020.

Portsmouth’s contemporary art gallery Aspex is one Ultrasaurus sized step closer to reaching it’s fundraising target for a new piece of public art on Southsea Common.

Launched on the 31st July Aspex’s crowdfunding campaign to ‘Bring Back The Southsea Dinosaur’ has had a positive start and is about to receive a £5000 boost from Portsmouth City Council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), funds generated from developers undertaking building projects in the city.

Backed enthusiastically by all three councillors for the St Jude’s ward (Cllr Graham Heaney, Cllr Hugh Mason and Cllr Judith Smythe), as well as Councillor Steve Pitt, Cabinet Member for Culture, Leisure and Economic Development, Aspex ’s application for CIL funding has been approved, provided the gallery can raise another £30,000 from other sources.

Councillor Steve Pitt said, “Our visual arts community have come into their own during COVID-19, giving us all something to be able to smile about, in much the same way that the ‘Luna Park’ dinosaur did during the economic crisis 10 years ago. It is fantastic that we can revisit those amazing memories and if everyone gets on board, make sure we have a permanent reminder of the Ultrasaurus. Let’s make this happen!”

The first stage of Aspex’s ambitious fundraising plans is a £10,000 crowdfunding campaign, securing public support. The live campaign: www.crowdfunder.co.uk/southsea-dinosaur offers the public the opportunity to make a donation or a pledge in exchange for one of a range of rewards. Rewards include dinosaur t-shirts and themed creative birthday parties for children; calendars, pin badges and limited edition artworks; and exclusive portrait photo shoots and event hire packages at Aspex ’s iconic building in Gunwharf Quays.

Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex said, “This is more than just a bronze dinosaur; the permanent tribute to Luna Park will house a digital archive of memories and photographs, and also give visitors the ability to experience the ‘life-size’ dinosaur through the magic of augmented reality! If the people of Portsmouth want their own history to take pride of place on Southsea Common for future generations to enjoy, they have an opportunity through crowdfunder to commission the public art they want to see.”

Aspex’s ‘Bring Back The Southsea Dinosaur’ crowdfunding campaign has been extended until Sunday 13th September and needs to reach the £10,000 target to secure the pledged funds.

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