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Ferrassic Park Steel Dinosaurs and Steel Sculptures

Come and see us in Buxton Art Trail
Venue No. 22

About the Artist

Andy Hill Dinosaur Artist

Andy Hill in his Dragster Days
Seeing a T Rex skeleton at Manchester Oxford Road Uni was the defining moment when I decided I was going to become a dinosaur sculptor and upon seeing my work lots of people seem to be similarly inspired especially children. With that in mind let's take a step back and see what inspired me as a child to get to where I am today.

In July 1969 my dad got me out of bed to see Neil Armstrong live on TV take his first steps on the moon. Seeing that made me want to do something different with my life. Of course I was never going to become an astronaut but a seed had been planted. Racing cars and airplanes are what shaped my childhood, making model kits and even stuff out of old cereal packets when I had nothing else to hand. When I was about 12 years old I went on a school trip to a custom car show at Belle View Manchester and there I saw for the first time drag racing cars. I had been to motor racing events before as it was a passion of my dads, but I knew there and then these were going to be part of my life. I persuaded my dad to take me to a drag race event and he was hooked as well. For years we were hopelessly addicted spectators.

Large steel dinosaur sculpture - aptosaurus
About the same time as I saw that first drag car I had also become obsessed with rock music, another passion that has never left me. I always dreamed of playing in a band but it was not until I was about 15 that I purchased my first guitar with money I had earned myself and then I had to teach myself to play as lessons were an out of reach option. By the time I was 17 I was playing in a punk band gigging in Manchester and even recorded songs with 2 different bands that got air play on radio 1. I still have a passion for music and even get up and play now and again but it is my son who holds that torch now - a naturally gifted player at just 12 years old he was playing at jam sessions in local pubs holding his own with the best of musicians.

Fast-forwards to 1990, my dad had been diagnosed with terminal cancer and initially had been given just weeks to live. I was at a drag race event where a racer was there with a new car. When I asked him what had happened to his old ride, he asked if I wanted to buy it? I had started several different drag racing projects that never got finished but this was something I felt I just had to do. I went home and saw my dad and told him about the car. He suggested that we went to see the car and of course we ended up buying it and becoming part of the drag racing scene where our on-track heros became our good friends. My dad battled with cancer for a further 5 years – I am convinced that the focus of living the dream to see me on the track prolonged his time with us and made his last years happy ones.

Ferrassic Park make steel art sculptures suitable for gardens
So back to Manchester uni and the T Rex. As I was looking at it and the steel armature that held it up I decided I wanted to make steel dinos. I had never made a sculpture before but went to my work shop on Monday & started to create. I had given up art in the second year of secondary school when my art teacher told me my approach to art was all wrong. I won though when I found out he had taken a drawing class to draw my sculptures at my first public exhibition!

Though doing that first exhibition I found myself doing my first public speaking of my life to school children. I had never done it before and had no idea of what I was going to say. I was introduced as the dino artist and was left to get on with it, but the kids were so inspired by my art all I had to do was answer their many and varied questions.

I had inspired others though my art and to me that is what art is supposed to do. If it needs an explanation to be appreciated then for me it has failed to touch you. So here we are full circle I am inspiring young minds with my art as great things in my life have inspired me.

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