Bring Back the Southsea Dinosaur!

by Aspex in Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom

We did it
On 13th September 2020 we successfully raised £10,290 ( + est. £1012.00 Gift Aid ) with 147 supporters in 44 days

Help fund a bronze sculpture of ‘Luna Park’ - the incredible Southsea Dinosaur that towered over Southsea Common and burnt down in 2010.

by Aspex in Portsmouth, England, United Kingdom

New stretch target

If you can help us to smash our target and raise even more money towards the cost of the new artwork we won't have to write as many funding applications to other funders.

This is your chance to commission a piece of public artwork for Portsmouth so please have another look down the back of the sofa and feel part of something really special for our community.

This summer we are celebrating ten years since ‘Luna Park’, the Southsea Dinosaur that was visited, photographed, climbed on and enjoyed by thousands of Portsmouth residents in 2010.

To mark this unique moment in our city’s history Aspex has teamed up with ‘Luna Park’ artists Heather and Ivan Morison once again, to design a new piece of public art. The artwork will act as a fitting tribute to the immensely popular original, and will have an integrated interactive digital archive of public memories and photographs to be enjoyed by future generations.

To make this artwork come to life we need help from you in three ways:

1. We need cash!

If we can raise the first £10,000 through crowdfunding we will be able to demonstrate public support for the project to other funders and will enable us to successfully raise a further £25,000 to realise this dream.

2. We need your memories!

This artwork is more than just a bronze statue: the sculpture will connect to an Augmented Reality digital archive housing your photographs and stories. Email your photos and call our voicemail to share your memory of seeing the 16 metre tall dinosaur.

3. Tell your friends!

Help us to find more Supporters and better our chance of reaching the target by sharing the project on your social media. Got a great photo of ‘Luna Park’? Post it on your feed with #SouthseaDinosaur and if you’re pledging cash towards the project add our Supporter’s badge to the photo to let your friends know you’re part of the crowd.

What was ‘Luna Park’?

Luna Park’ is the title of a 16 metre tall sculpture of an Ultrasaurus by the artists Heather and Ivan Morison. For a commission led by Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, ‘Luna Park’, was installed by Aspex on 31st July 2010, and was due to travel to Colchester and Cardiff as part of a touring partnership between Chapter, Firstsite and Aspex but it unexpectedly burnt down on 1st October. Known affectionately by Portsmouth’s residents as ‘The Southsea Dinosaur’ the sculpture acted as a meeting place for local people and an unusual attraction for visitors to the city.

What will the new sculpture look like and how will the digital archive work?

The new artwork will be a scale replica of the original ‘Luna Park’. The bronze sculpture will be around 40cm tall and stand on a secure stone plinth. When we install the sculpture in 2021 you will be able to visit it, touch it and take new selfies with it!

The artwork will also accommodate an Augmented Reality digital archive of people’s memories and photographs, which can be accessed on laptops, tablets and mobile devices. By simply scanning a QR code you’ll be able to look back at the photos of yourself, your friends, family, neighbours and work colleagues next to the Ultrasaurus, ten years ago.

To contribute your photographs, videos and stories please email [email protected] or call and leave your memory as a message on Luna Park's voicemail: 07488 266872.

Image: digital visualisation of bronze sculpture next to digital rendering of original Luna Park for scale

Why should you pledge?

As with most things this project needs cash to make it happen and for as little as £5 you can help to support culture in Portsmouth and see your money spent on something you will be able to enjoy in real life (and in augmented reality!).

Aspex, like many other cultural organisations has been hit hard by the loss of income due to Coronavirus but this crowdfunding campaign is not to rescue or save us. We want to raise money for this project so that we can support artists and make something really exciting happen in our city.

Also, we have been digging through the stock cupboard to find some special rewards for our Supporters. We are offering Heather and Ivan Morison artworks for those of you with empty walls and can you believe it, the original 2010 ‘FOTOsaurus’ calendars are back in date in 2022, so why not stock up now? Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, right!

Want to wear your support on your chest? Check out the very limited edition 2010 metal pin badges (the last 22 before they become extinct!). We’re also making up some fabulous new T-shirts and bags which you can wear around Pompey with pride.

Got a few more pennies in your pocket? We are thrilled to be offering some exclusive rewards for the VIPs who help us to reach our target a bit quicker. At the amazing price of £250 we have secured a very special photo shoot opportunity with our brilliant friend and tenant professional photographer Dan Bernard, or for £1500 you can hire our beautiful gallery building for an exclusive two hour event.


1596531037_rewards_02.01.jpgWhat will you be paying for?

We are crowdfunding for the first £10,000 towards the new artwork. The estimated total cost to produce it is £35,000.

Half of the total budget will be spent on production of the artwork itself including bronze casting, a stone plinth and the creation of the interactive digital photo archive. We will also be paying the artists a fee for their work on the project, and covering costs to transport the sculpture and install it on Southsea Common.

If you choose one of the rewards we are making especially for the Crowdfunder, such as a T-shirt or bag, we have built the printing costs of the reward into the pledge. So for example, a T-shirt will cost us £10 to print meaning we will get £15 towards the project.

What is ‘Luna Park 10 Years’?

Marking exactly ten years since ‘Luna Park’ and building up to the new sculpture on Southsea Common, Aspex has commissioned Heather and Ivan Morison to rebuild the Southsea Dinosaur in Virtual Reality and start collecting memories from the public. In ‘Luna Park 10 Years’ visitors can walk around and underneath a 3D rendering of the original sculpture, and share their own memories and photographs of the artwork. As with the original sculpture it also acts as a meeting place, hosting events for people to join together on the VR Southsea Common this summer.

Visit to experience ‘Luna Park 10 Years’ and find out more about our activities programme including Heather & Ivan Morison in conversation about the project via Zoom; The ‘Do-You-Think-They-Saw-Us’ Ultrasaurus trail around the city; and a Dinosaur Cake Competition.

‘Luna Park 10 Years’ is delivered by Aspex in partnership with Portsmouth Creates, Portsmouth City Council, the University of Portsmouth, Chapter and PONToon, an EU Interreg France (Channel) England funded project co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund.

Who are Heather and Ivan Morison?

Heather and Ivan Morison are the artists who came up with the original idea for ‘Luna Park’ and developed the 2010 sculpture. They have been working together as an artist duo since 2003 and have produced major public artworks which break the boundaries of art, architecture and theatre. Heather and Ivan Morison have an international reputation for making incredible, high quality contemporary art in the UK and around the world. Aspex is excited to work with Heather and Ivan again to realise a public artwork which will draw new visitors to Portsmouth.

Image: Luna Park, Heather and Ivan Morison, 2010. Photo: John Daniels.


What will happen if Aspex doesn’t reach the target?

If we don’t meet our target, we will not receive any of the funds pledged towards the project and we won’t be able to send out any rewards. This is why we need you to make a pledge and then tell your friends and family about the campaign. Please help us to spread the word so that we can get enough Supporters to reach our target.

When will I receive my reward?

All rewards will be sent out following successful completion of the Crowdfunder (ends 1st September 2020) and will be sent via Royal Mail. Please see the reward descriptions for other delivery specifications.

Isn’t Aspex supported by Arts Council England and Portsmouth City Council?

Aspex is a National Portfolio Organisation (NPO) of Arts Council England and receives support from ACE and Portsmouth City Council towards our core staff and operational costs. This income covers 40% of the annual costs of our charity and the work we do.

Aspex still has to fundraise for every exhibition, event or educational activity, sourcing financial support from other sources to employ artists and purchase materials.

Why aren’t local artists being commissioned?

Aspex regularly supports artists who live locally by working with them on exhibitions, residencies and commissions; through our Aspex Artist Associates scheme; and as workshop leaders for our Learning Programme. We may commission local artists to make public art in the future but for this project we are working with Heather and Ivan Morison who were based in Brighton in 2010 but are now living and working in Wales; supporting them to realise their ideas for a new piece of contemporary art in Portsmouth, which will be enjoyed by the people living here.

Can Aspex raise the rest of the money for the sculpture?

In 2021 Aspex will celebrate its 40th anniversary with a year-long programme of #Aspexat40 commissions and activities to digitise and share our Archive.

Over the last 39 years Aspex has delivered a number of ambitious public art projects, which have needed major fundraising, including the original ‘Luna Park’ (2010) by Heather and Ivan Morison; Nils Norman’s ‘Ruins, Monuments and Follies’ (2008) in the entrance walkway to Gunwharf Quays; S Mark Gubb’s ‘Trav’ller in the Dark’ (2011) above Portsmouth’s Hard Interchange Bus Station; and Federico Herrero’s ‘Public Wallpaper’ (2007) on the exterior of the Norrish Central Library, Portsmouth.

Image: Public Wallpaper, Federico Herrero, 2007

We have identified private and public funders we will be applying to for support with this project. We are confident that with £10,000 of cash support from crowdfunding Aspex can make a strong case to funders to invest £25,000 in a fantastic new work of art for Portsmouth so we don’t need to crowdfund for the total project budget. However, if we raise more than our target on Crowdfunder we won’t have to write as many funding applications!

Does the project have planning permission?

If this Crowdfunder is successful and the people of Portsmouth want this sculpture Aspex will make a formal application to Portsmouth City Council for planning permission. Aspex will be working closely with the planning department to determine a temporary location for the sculpture in 2021, whilst the Southsea Coastal Scheme redevelopment takes place, then moving it to its long term home on the Promenade. So far the planning department has been supportive, encouraging and enthusiastic about the ideas for the project.

Will you ask people for money again after this campaign?

Yes, Aspex is a charity and we need to fundraise year-round for all of our work. We rely on earned income from hires of the spaces in our building and sales in our shop, and we regularly apply to Trusts and Foundations and other public funding to support our projects.

We gratefully receive donations from generous supporters, including our Patrons, and we regularly work in partnership with sponsors and partners to make money go further. If you would like to talk to us about getting involved with Aspex as a Patron or sponsor please contact our Director Joanne Bushnell, [email protected]

To find out more about hiring space at Aspex please contact Harry Scott, [email protected]

Have any further questions?

Get in touch:
E: [email protected] | T: +44 (0)23 9277 8080


This project offers rewards in return for your donation

£25 or more

47 of 50 claimed

Luna Park 10 Years T-shirt (adult)

Gildan heavy cotton t-shirt screenprinted by Portsmouth's Sea Dog Print Studio with the iconic Luna Park 10 Years design by Heather and Ivan Morison. Sizes: S - 34/36" // M - 38/40" // L - 42/44" // XL - 46/48" // XXL - 50/52"

£5 or more

6 of 50 claimed

Two for One on coffee at Aspex!

Support our project for min £5 and grab a 2 for 1 hot drink voucher for Port Coffee at Aspex. Vouchers can be redeemed once we've reached our target - until 20th December 2020. (We'll hang on to these at Aspex for you to pick up when you come in - saves on postage!)

£10 or more

16 of 100 claimed

FOTOsaurus Calendar 2011/2022

Aspex FOTOsaurus 2011 calendars can be reused in 2022!! That's right, the days/dates match up and we didn't put public holidays on the squares (genius!). Photos for the calendar were selected from Flickr. The photographers featured Jan-Dec are Nigel Budd, Claire Sambrook, Martin Hoy, Duncan Allen, Andy Teo, John Daniels, Dan Micklewright, Bob Franklin, Victoria Sjostrom-Jones, Jon Eastham, Vivienne Marks and Mike Cooter.

£15 or more

1 of 10 claimed

Heather & Ivan Morison Venice 2007 catalogue

Last of our copies of the Heather & Ivan Morison publication for Wales at the 52nd International Art Exhibition La Biennale di Venezia, 'And So It Goes'. Includes full page colour photos, an interview with the artists and texts by Michael Nixon, Hannah Firth, Stephen West in English and Welsh. On sale elsewhere online for twice the price!

£15 or more

17 of 50 claimed

Luna Park 10 Years T-shirt (child)

Gildan Softstyle kids t-shirt screenprinted by Portsmouth's Sea Dog Print Studio with the iconic Luna Park 10 Years design by Heather and Ivan Morison. Sizes: XS 3/4yrs (14"), S 5/6yrs (15"), M 7/8yrs (16"), L 9/11yrs (17"), XL 12/14yrs (18.5")

£25 or more

13 of 50 claimed

Luna Park 10 Years Jute Shopper

High quality cotton shopper bag screenprinted by Portsmouth's Sea Dog Print Studio with the iconic Luna Park 10 Years design by Heather and Ivan Morison. Bag size: 30 x 30 x 19cm (14 Litres) / Handle length: 40cm.

£50 or more

10 of 22 claimed

Luna Park 2010 Badge

A super stylish limited edition Luna Park metal pin badge designed by Heather and Ivan Morison in 2010. These are the last 22!

£100 or more

4 of 150 claimed

Signed Heather & Ivan Morison Spiral Jetty print

A signed Luna Park print featuring the wire frame drawing for the original sculpture, printed in silver ink over a landscape photograph of a sign to Robert Smithson's 'Spiral Jetty', signed by Heather & Ivan Morison.

£250 or more

2 of 4 claimed

Portrait photo shoot with Dan Bernard

Our brilliant friend and professional photographer Dan Bernard is kindly supporting our project by offering four hour-long photo shoots as rewards. The photo session will be in our iconic red brick Aspex gallery building and you'll get 10 digital files to use however you like. How about a new family portrait, some professional headshots or some new profile pics for your Instagram? Check out Dan's work at

£400 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Dinosaur themed children's party

How about having a dinosaur themed birthday party at Aspex? Pledge on this now and we'll get your child and seven of their friends booked in for a party in our Learning Space with a creative activity (run by one of our amazing educators) and the catering thrown in.

£1,500 or more

0 of 3 claimed

Corporate event hire

This reward gives you an exclusive hire of our iconic gallery building in Gunwharf Quays for a two hour event + thirty minute set up/take down (excludes catering). Your event will need to take place outside of our regular opening hours (Wed-Sun, 11am-4pm) and happen in the next 12 months.

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