High in the Peruvian Andes, the discovery of fossils and footprints from more than 100 million years ago was the beginning of an exciting adventure to bring back the Dinosaurs of Peru.
Project Title: Peruvian Dinosaurs. The Conchucho’s Adventure (Dinosaurios del Perú. La aventura de Conchucos).
Period: 2010 – 2012
Commissioned by: Antamina and Asociación Ancash
Peruvian Dinosaurs: the Story
Some years ago, construction workers of a high road in the Peruvian mountains found giant footprints and dinosaur fossils. These animals lived between 60 and 100 million years ago and were part of the fauna that existed in South American back then. Antamina Mining Company, together with Asociación Ancash decided to take these remains under their protection and hired a team of researchers led by palaeontologist Carlos Vildoso to rescue and safeguard the discoveries.
As a part of the conservation work to put in value the remains, it was decided to create an educational project to share the discoveries with the local and national community. The researchers created some sculpture models based on dinosaurs and after evaluating the reception by the public Antamina contacted me and decided to commission a sculpture series based on the fossils.
The Dinosaur Factory
Parallel to my work as director of Amazon Action, I took the responsibility to create this project and direct the construction of 7 real-size sculptures of dinosaurs. For the first stage, I took my great friend and artist Mónica Moscol as a business partner. We hired skilled resin workers and also some other artists, most of them friends from art school, like Verónica Villar and María Laredo.
The creation process took 6 months approx. We used the roof of Monica’s workshop as the place to build the dinosaurs. We called it “The Dinosaur Factory”. It was one of the funniest times of my life. My day started going to buy the supplies and from there to the factory to work on the dinosaurs and review the advance of the pieces. The team divided into several tasks, such as transferring the palaeontologist’s designs to the sculptures, building the support system, creating the fibreglass and resin shell, giving the dinosaurs the shape, making the details of the skin, eyes, teeth, and finally painting the pieces.
The Travelling Exhibition
After finishing the construction the pieces were transported to be exhibited in the Archaeologic Museum of Huaraz, Perú. I was responsible for the installation of the pieces and the design of the visual material. Due to the great reception of this exhibition, Antamina decided to present the sculptures in different cities around the country. The pieces were created for a single exhibition, which meant that I had to travel everywhere with the sculptures to repair them, re-paint them and install them in the chosen venue. The Peruvian dinosaurs were exhibited in more than 6 locations, being visited by millions of people during that time. Here some pictures:
The History Channel incident
It was after the exhibition at the Archaeological Museum of Chavin de Huantar when History Channel contacted my boss Luis Vigo and offered him to help us with the transport of the sculptures to the coastal city of Chimbote. Back then the production team were filming an episode of its series IRT Deadliest Roads, which focused on a group of truckers transporting cargoes in Peru. In that episode, I learned that everything on television is simply a fantasy. Some “actors” were more interested in their performance than in the care of the pieces they were transporting. The result was that all the pieces were seriously damaged (decapitations and missed limbs included), and I had to spend several weeks rebuilding them and preparing them for the next exhibition in Chimbote. I’m really proud that the restoration was a success. After that came the biggest exhibition in in my hometown Miraflores, Lima. (my native district). The dinosaurs rose to life again.
Let’s create together
It was after building gigantic dinosaurs that I understood that with creativity everything is possible. Art brings us together and creates new ways to share knowledge and emotions. If you want to create an art project for you or for your organization, I will be delighted to help. Just contact me and let’s create the impossible.