The finished sculpture has now been moved down to Base camp, which will be its home for the next year, and I have secured it into place with horseshoe type pins over the feet plates.
I have decided to use the Latin name of the Black Rhino; "Diceros bicornis michaeli", as this uniquely identifies the Black Rhino as the sub species that has the prehensile lip. Together with the name of the Rhino I based the piece on; "Rukwa".... talking of which...Rukwa was actually checking out the piece as I was pinning it down!
After setting up the working drawings and the 'Gifted' picture at Carnivore Territory, I was ready for the 'Official Handover', where I would meet Bob O'Connor, the Director of the Zoo Park, for photographs and to hand the Rhino over to Port Lympne for a year.
I must say, it was manic! I have never been so photographed or interviewed in my life! Bob and I were pose-able dummies for half an hour, which was quite fun and he was in good spirits with the whole scenario. I was lucky enough to have my family and University peers present, as well as the PR staff from the zoo. The handover was a very successful event, the weather was kind and the sun was shining, I could not have wished for a better day!
I would like to thank Pure Arts group for the support I received and the PR staff at the foundation and Bob O'Connor for his time. I would also like to thank the Rhino keepers for their help with foraging and access to areas and staff whom supplied me with hot coffee when it was cold as well as the friendly grounds staff who watched the build with great interest. It was a real privilege to be based at one of the most beautiful parks in Kent to produce a sculpture of such a remarkable and tender animal. I hope it justifies this endangered species and gives the park and general public visual pleasure.
Now, what next???....Watch this space!