Monday, July 13, 2009

Centre for Life

We had a memorable visit to the Centre for Life in Newcastle, UK, where the “Return to Dinotopia” exhibition will be held through this summer.

This superb hands-on science discovery museum has an upstairs room where over 50 Dinotopia paintings are on display, along with a large format digital slide show taking viewers behind the scenes into the making of Dinotopia. I gave three slide presentations to a variety of groups in the egg-shaped auditorium.

One of the highlights was meeting a longtime Dinotopia Message Board administrator Nathalie, who came all the way from Holland.

Another highlight was listening to Noel Jackson, one of the directors of the science center, as he performed a piece that he composed called “Dancing with Dinosaurs.” Behind him on his right was the painting of the dinosaur playing a concertina in Dinotopia: Journey to Chandara.

Behind the scenes in the museum, I had a chance to hold a giant African land snail and a Madagascar hissing cockroach (above) in my hand. These are both surprisingly good creatures for interacting with the public, the museum's educators told me. They don't run around or bite or get stressed out too much from being handled. And young children, if they haven't been taught to fear them, kind of fall in love with snails and cockroaches.


Allan Cavanagh said...

Love the spin on Antony Gormley on his t-shirt!

Dan Gurney said...

What fun! Enjoy your trip!

Steve said...

Looking forward to catching your presentation in Ohio on Wednesday. Hope you're not too time-zone jet-lagged.

James Gurney said...

Hey, Steve, that will be great to meet you. The jet lag hasn't caught up yet. I think it's easier traveling in this direction.

Nathalie said...

I think I'm in love with Concertina music from now on really... That piece was so beautiful!

Anyway, on topic, I enjoyed meeting you and your wife at the Centre for Life, it was a wonderful Saturdayafternoon. :-) I emailed the photo of you and me with the skateboarding T-rex sketch but I'm not sure if my hotmail account survives the spamfilters? (I got an email addy from Azonthus.) If not I'll just print and snailmail them as soon as possible.

Breathe Deep Seek Peace,