Hell Creek and Carboniferous Swamps!

I am very lucky in the work I get asked to do and often the Great North Museum, Hancock ask me to do some really cool things. In the past, I have made for them replica Egyptian mummies, with internal organs for school children to pull out of the mummies body; large applique maps of the Rainforest; beautiful seat covers for an exhibition about story telling and Triceratops full head wear! To mention just a few!

In a blog post in April, I posted images of some of the interactive school bags I had made for them, which I had back over Easter to mend their handles through very excessive use! Also, as part of that re-commission, I had been asked to make some more pieces which aided school children’s understanding of fossils, which linked to the Carboniferous period, this illustration shows ‘Hell Creek’ where T-Rex ruled, and the Upper Cretaceous period. I was to make textile, inactive pieces which illustrated an image from the time, the creatures which lived and with ‘flaps’ to show how they fossilized.

Hell Creek at the time of T-Rex

Hell Creek at the time of T-Rex

The pieces are each 60 cm square, with five interactive flaps.

T-Rex full skeleton.

T-Rex full skeleton.

As the Hancock Museum has such an incredible collection of fossils, it was decided to highlight those that could be seen by the school children in their galleries. They even have a full size mould of a T-Rex skeleton!

Ornithomimus in 'found' position.

Ornithomimus in ‘found’ position.

The image above, is the ‘lift a flap’ for one of the first creatures to be found to have feathers, it’s called an Ornithomimus. This represents how often fossils could be found lying in strange positions.

Carboniferous swamps and rivers.

Carboniferous swamps and rivers.

The second piece I made illustrates the land/water creatures that could be found during the carboniferous period in and around the swamps and rivers. Some of these creatures eventually evolved into mammals, like the Pholiderpeton at the top, seen about to go into the river and swimming as well below.

The one creature I did enjoy painting was the Rhizodus, a very strange looking ferocious fish, which had very sharp teeth!

Detail of the Rhizodus.

Detail of the Rhizodus.

Now I have finished these pieces, which took quite a lot of time and certainly research, at the start of June I am looking forward to starting a large painted panel which illustrates a section from the Egyptian Book of the dead – the weighing of the heart, also for the Hancock Museum. That will be great fun!


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