Dinofest2015 brings the world's leading dinosaur exhibits to museums across Hampshire

| 24 April 2015

Dinofest, a year-long festival of dinosaur exhibitions and events, kicks-off in May across Hampshire

a painting of dinosaurs at a lagoon surprised by a meat eating dinosaur
John Sibbick is an Isle of Wight based artist who has been drawing and illustrating dinosaurs since he was a boy© John Sibbick
Some of the world’s leading dinosaur exhibits are heading to Hampshire in May for Dinofest2015, a year of exhibitions and events at the county’s top museums and arts venues.

Six exhibitions will appear at several venues across the county with precious objects and fossils loaned by the Oxford University Museum, Natural History Museum, Leeds Museum, Dorchester County Museum, Charmouth Museum, Dinosaur Isle, Hunterian Museum, Vivacity and Jurassic Coast.

Flints, fossils and many other intriguing objects from the county’s Natural Science and Archaeology collections will also be displayed in the exhibitions. And that staple of any dinosaur exhibition, the animatronic dinosaur will be on display in Southampton and Basingstoke courtesy of the Natural History Museum in London.

Other venues, including Winchester Discovery Centre and Eastleigh Museum, will explore the dinosaur world by focusing on everything from dinosaur art to their evolution into modern birds.

The dinosaur-themed year follows on from the county’s successful year exploring the centenary of the First World War, which Janet Owen, the chief executive of Hampshire Cultural Trust, says  “really immersed" people of all ages in history.

“This time we are going even further back and bringing the excitement of dinosaurs to Hampshire through geology, archaeology, art, events and much more,” she adds.

“With the imminent launch of the latest Jurassic Park film we’re anticipating a resurgence of interest in these incredible creatures and expecting to see thousands of people coming through our doors over the coming months.

“Wherever you are in Hampshire, the dinosaurs are closer than you think.”

Dinofest2015: Six dinosaur exhibitions

Animatronic dinosaurs
a photo of an animatronic T-Rex
T-Rex will be appearing at Seacity Southampton and Milestones Basingstoke© NHM
Dinosaur Encounter: SeaCity Museum (Southampton), June 13 – September 27

Moving animatronic dinosaurs take centre stage in this major exhibition about how modern dinosaur hunters find and interpret prehistoric creatures and how new techniques are helping us understand more them.

Dinosaur Hunters: Milestones (Basingstoke), June 13 – September 27

Focusing on the earliest dinosaur hunters and some of the creatures living in our seas 190 million years ago, this major family-friendly exhibition includes a fossil hunt and five life-size animatronic dinosaurs.

From dinosaurs to birds

a painting of a dinosaur's foot with a magpie resting on it
Dinosaurs in your garden explores how large meat-eating dinosaurs evolved into modern birds
Dinosaurs in your Garden: Gosport Gallery (October 10 – December 5); Willis Museum, Basingstoke (June 6 – August 2); Winchester Discovery Centre (8 August – October 3)

How large meat-eating dinosaurs evolved into modern birds, their nearest living relatives, is explored in this exhibition. Based on the collections of National Museum Wales, it's supplemented by objects from Oxford University Museum, Manchester Museum, York Museum, Teylers Museum in the Netherlands, the Dinosaur Isle and Dinosaur Expeditions.

Dinosaur collectors and explorers

a photo of a T-Rex Photoshopped onto a woodland scene
Dinosaur Explorer and The Collectors reveals the county's rich fossil and dinosaur collections
Dinosaur Explorer and The Collectors’: Red House Museum, Christchurch (May 2 – June 27); Alton Museum (4 July – August 22); Aldershot Military Museum (29 August – November 1)

The collectors who first gathered together the flints, fossils and many other intriguing objects that make up the county’s rich Natural Science and Archaeology collections come under the spotlight in an exhibition inviting families to track down dinosaurs, find their eggs and avoid the roar of the Tyrannosaurus Rex.

The art of the dinosaurs

a photo of a a plat with a plesiosaur skeleton on it
Dinosaurium: Reimagined Creatures takes an artistic look at the way dinosuars are re-imagined by different generations
Dinosaurium: Reimagined Creatures’: Winchester Discovery Centre ‘City Space’ (July 11 – September 6)

A strong collectors’ theme includes a reconstructed antiquarians/collectors/naturalists study, a mystery fictional Edwardian collector’s specimen jar containing ‘living’ dinosaur and an artwork based on the theory that each generation re-imagines dinosaurs in their own way.

Drawn to Dinosaurs: Andover Museum (July 11 – September 5); Eastleigh Museum (September 12 – November 7); Westbury Manor Museum (November 14 – January 9)

John Sibbick, an Isle of Wight-based artist whose vivid work has featured in many dinosaur books, on television and in dinosaur galleries in national and regional museums, provides the exhibits in this touring exhibition.

  • For more details, including events, map and a family trail with prizes, visit dinofest2015.co.uk (website live from May 1 2015).

What do you think? Leave a comment below.

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