After months of anticipation, the GoGoDiscover trail of T.rex and Steppe Mammoth sculptures are ready and waiting to be discovered from today (Monday, June 27). Here, three of the artists involved explain what has inspired them
Rachael Butler has designed two sculptures this year: Teo the T.rex sculpture, and YUUKI, the Steppe Mammoth sculpture, both sponsored by Pentaco Construction Ltd. Both have a strong environmental message and she’s passionate about getting people to protect the planet, make a difference and pay attention to the beauty of all living things. Her sculptures are so intricate with lots of incredible detail:
‘I switched from being a classroom teacher to an online tutor before Covid happened, and realised I could work from home as an online tutor and become an artist as well, which is something I always wanted to do. It’s been really exciting.
‘Being a teacher I know how much children love dinosaurs! My sponsor, Pentaco, who are doing the plinths on the bottom, asked me to do a T.rex and mammoth for them. They said I could have a free rein for the T.Rex. For the mammoth, YUUKI, a Japanese name meaning courage, they did ask me to do a design for a sustainable world.
‘Teo, meaning ‘gift’, speaks for the environment and the fragility of our world. It reminds onlookers about all the precious living things on Earth including some lesser-known species such as the Polynesian Tree Snail and Ghost Orchids.
‘I think Teo will provide wonderful subject matter for families and friends to discuss, and I hope everyone will be left feeling inspired to learn more, perhaps create something or go on to research new ideas based on what they’ve seen. This fantastic trail has something inspiring for everyone.
‘YUUKI is a walkaround sculpture – where you see two worlds. One side is polluted and uncared for, and animals are suffering. When you walk around the other side you see humans and animals living happily together. I hope it will show people the ways in which we can live in a sustainable world.
‘I hope people will go home and do their own research. I’m forever the teacher – I forever want people to do their research! This is my first experience of doing this. The first of many, I hope.’
The calming effects of art are demonstrated on Yoodle-Saurus, which has been decorated by Tori, aka ‘The Pink Hare’, who is about to graduate from the Norwich University of the Arts, in illustration. Yoodle-Saurus is made up of quirky and fun-loving characters called ‘Yoodles’, which Tori cites as helping to express herself when words cannot. They are Tori’s way of easing her anxieties and letting her imagination run free:
‘This is my second time. My first time was Cows about Cambridge with Moodle Yoodle (there were a lot of cow puns!). It feels even better because it’s with Break Charity again – I know the people who have managed the trail. Getting to know and becoming friends with them feels really good – as does getting to know the new artists.
‘It’s been like a recovery thing for me. During my first year at university my mental health wasn’t good. I struggled with anxiety, depression and Anorexia.
‘Having that opportunity to have my Yoodle characters be part of the Cows about Cambridge trail, getting sponsored and getting to do the design was a really important recovery point for me. This is like the cherry on the cake – getting to do it again. Each Yoodle on Yoodle-Saurus has a different meaning.’
Matt Reeve (@matt_reeve_art) has been involved in several of the sculpture trails over the years. This year he has decorated two, Doug the Dino (a pun on ‘dug’) which is covered with fossils for onlookers to find, and the ontheballasaurus, linked to NCFC:
‘I’ve been involved in Norwich’s Wild In Art trails since 2008’s GoElephants, when the charity was CLIC Sargent (now known as ‘Young Lives Vs Cancer’) and the Born Free foundation. I was the ‘ele-vet’ and tasked with repairing and restoring any damage to the sculptures that year. My elephant ‘Feeling Fruity’ was designed to look like it was made from fresh fruit, with a banana for a trunk, ears painted like slices of fresh watermelon and kiwi fruit and an orange for its rump. That year my work sold at charity auction for £6000 and from there on in I was hooked, returning to design sculptures for GoGoGorillas in 2013 (Mr Carrow, the NCFC gorilla sold for £17,000) and three designs for GoGoDragons in 2015 (Patch, Aurelia and Vroom Vroom) Patch being chosen to be made into a figurine that could be bought by the public subsequently raising even more money for Break.
‘As a freelance artist who creates commercial work as well as public and private commissions, I’m always thrilled to see my designs out in the wild as well as on display in people’s homes, galleries and museums. I particularly enjoy creating work that is exciting or inspiring for children, they are the purest of audiences, never jaded or clouded by snobbery, and have no qualms about letting you know if they like it or not!
‘My GoDiscover 2022 designs are both very different. Doug the Dino sponsored by Roarr! Dinosaur Adventure is very tactile and sculptural. I’ve always had a fascination with palaeontology, and I run creative fossil making workshops (www.fossilmaker.com). I’ve used copies of some of the fossils in my collection to encrust and decorate Doug’s rocky surface. Roarr! Also asked me to hide a few surprises amongst the real fossils which keen eyed youngsters who know the park’s mascots may be able to spot.
‘My second design is for Norwich City Football Club, and they have named it ‘Onetheballosaurus’. The design is a kaleidoscope patchwork of different NCFC kits over the years, incorporating a mixture of home, away, 3rd and goalies’ kits that the club has produced. City fans will recognise some of the classics, including the ‘egg and cress’ style design made iconic from Jeremy Goss’s stunning volleyed goal against Bayern Munich in the 1993 UEFA Champions League.’
The GoGoDiscover trail, which sees 79 T.rex and Steppe Mammoth sculptures stationed across Norfolk, takes place from Monday June 27 to Saturday September 10, 2022. GoGoDiscover is delivered by East Anglian charity, Break, in partnership with Wild in Art. Through donations, app downloads, events, merchandise sales and an auction of sculptures in September, the trail is hoping to raise valuable funds to make life better for children and young people on the edge of care, in care and leaving the care system. Supporting the project are presenting partners Norwich BID, Chantry Place and ROARR! Dinosaur Adventure, along with logistical partners Longwater Construction, who are responsible for installing the sculptures across the county, and Pentaco Construction, who have kindly supplied all of the sculpture plinths. From Monday June 27, trail-goers will be able to locate and identify all 79 of the prehistoric visitors using the new GoGoDiscover app (£1.79), available from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store, or by picking up a GoGoDiscover trail map (suggested donation £1) from a variety of trail map hubs including The Forum, The Royal Arcade, Jarrold, Holkham, the Pensthorpe gift shop, Duke’s Head Hotel in King’s Lynn, Sea View Café in West Runton and Break retail shops across the county. For more information visit break-charity.org/gogodiscover