Meet the artists behind the city T-Rex sculpture trail

Sophie Li-Rocchi is head of art at Gresham's Prep School and has designed and decorated two T-Rex sculptures in Norwich 

Sophie Li-Rocchi is head of art at Gresham's Prep School and has designed and decorated two T-Rex sculptures in Norwich - Credit: Break

An Aylsham man whose work was bought by Ed Sheeran, a school head of art and freelance illustrator are among those behind the T-Rex sculptures in Norwich this summer. 

The GoGoDiscover trail, being run by East Anglian children's charity Break, began on July 12 and runs until Saturday, September 11. 

An array of colourful designs and patterns can be seen in the city centre with a total of 21 dinosaur sculptures. 

Aylsham-based artist, Mik Richardson, designed Afternoon Tea-Rex, sponsored by and located at Chantry Place.

Aylsham-based artist Mik Richardson has contributed to the GoGoDiscover trail having done work for Blue Peter and Ed Sheeran 

Aylsham-based artist Mik Richardson has contributed to the GoGoDiscover T-Rex trail having previously produced work for Blue Peter and Ed Sheeran - Credit: Break

This is the fourth time Mr Richardson has worked on a Break sculpture trail, with his previous pieces raising over £68,000 for the East Anglian children’s charity.

Although he has painted over 100 sculptures for more than 30 trails across the UK, including a special commission for Blue Peter and a piece brought by Ed Sheeran, Afternoon Tea-Rex is the biggest sculpture he has worked on – standing at two metres tall.


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Taking roughly 10 days to decorate, the artist used acrylic and emulsion paints to bring the tea-riffic T-Rex to life, and added a real tea tray and cake stand.

A statue of a dinosaur with a cherry on its back, a tea stand on its head and balancing a plate on its arm

Afternoon Tea Rex is on Break’s GoGoDiscover trail - Credit: Chantry Place

Mr Richardson said: "Rex is a waiter, but with his tiny little arms, he has to balance items on his head and back." 

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Also contributing to the trail is Sophie Li-Rocchi, head of art at Gresham's School in Holt. 

She has has designed and decorated two sculptures - Dino Hunter and SNAP!

The latter, sponsored by Castle Quarter, is based on Norwich’s famous medieval dragon who would entertain the crowds at St George’s Day celebrations and at processions held for the inauguration of new mayors. 

"Some of the original dragons are kept in Norwich Castle Museum, so I was able to base my design on these," Mrs Li-Rocchi said. 

Her other design is sponsored by First Eastern Counties Buses. 

Sally Adams is a former London prop maker, who now lives in Norwich, and is an ardent Break supporter.

Artist Sally Adams, a former London prop maker, who now lives in Norwich.

Artist Sally Adams, a former London prop maker, who now lives in Norwich. - Credit: Break

She is already working on the 2022 trail for Break and has decorated two T-Rex for the 2021 trail, namely Rex, sponsored by Jarrolds, and Lost Holmes, sponsored by Aspiration Europe. 

The artist said: "Virtually everything we know about dinosaurs comes from their enormous bones, so Rex is a giant dog and has run off with one of the bones.

"Inspiration for Lost Holmes was taken from two works by Arthur Conan-Doyle, Lost Worlds and, of course, Sherlock.”

Other work on public display by Mrs Adams include the stainless-steel dragonfly at How Hill, the grasshopper at Gresham's School and the Police HQ Memorial Fountain at Wymondham.

GoGoDiscover's T.Rex trail will feature 20 Tyrannosaurus Rex sculptures across the city in aid of charity Break.

GoGoDiscover's T.Rex trail will feature 20 Tyrannosaurus Rex sculptures across the city in aid of charity Break. - Credit: Contributed

Ryan Newell is a freelance illustrator and animator based in Norwich, working on everything from pet portraits to vehicle graphics.

Previously involved with three Break trails, for GoGoDiscover 2021, Mr Newell designed Where’s Rexy, sponsored by Riverside Entertainment, with the theme of retro computer games.

Decorated with acrylics, the work took Mr Newell about six weeks to complete.

He said: “It’s a large piece, but I've painted an elephant and a dragon before, so I wasn’t intimidated by the scale.”

Tracey Warnes, GoGoDiscover art co-ordinator at Break, said: “The artists have done an amazing job creating these unique and beautiful works of art.

"The feedback has been brilliant and everyone is loving seeing the T-Rex around Norwich.

"The artists are such a vital part of this event - from coming up with ideas, working with sponsors and decorating the sculptures, and then helping us raise funds for Break at auction."

The charity are now on the lookout for artists to be involved with the 2022 trail and Steppe Mammoth sculptures being extended across the county. 

This year's sculpture trail is delivered by East Anglian based children’s charity Break, in partnership with Wild in Art.

People who have enjoyed the sculptures can donate to Break via text or on the website to help support vulnerable young people.

Text TREX to 70085 to donate £3. Texts cost £3.

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