LUNA PARK 10 Years - Celebrating the Southsea Dinosaur

LUNA PARK 10 Years - Celebrating the Southsea Dinosaur

31 Jul - 13 Sep

This summer Aspex is celebrating ten years since Heather and Ivan Morison’s Luna Park towered over Southsea Common.

As a response to the national lockdown caused by COVID-19 and to mark the tenth anniversary since the Ultrasaurus sculpture astounded thousands of visitors to Portsmouth, we have commissioned Heather and Ivan Morison to rebuild their 2010 artwork in Virtual Reality.

Luna Park 10 Years is now live - CLICK HERE.

For a commission led by Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, the original Luna Park, was installed by Aspex on 31st July 2010 and was visited, photographed, climbed on and enjoyed by thousands of people until it unexpectedly burnt down on 1st October. Known affectionately by Portsmouth’s residents as ‘The Southsea Dinosaur’ the sculpture had been due to travel to Colchester and Cardiff as part of a touring partnership between Chapter, Firstsite and Aspex.

The new VR artwork, Luna Park 10 Years allows visitors to walk around and underneath a 3D rendering of the original sculpture, inside a 360 degree digital Southsea Common, which you can experience from your own home at any point over the next twelve months.
We are also fundraising for a permanent tribute to Luna Park to be installed on Southsea Common next year - visit our Bring Back The Southsea Dinosaur page to find out more!

That’s not all though, supported by local partners including Portsmouth Creates, Fratton Big Local and Portsmouth City Council we have lined up a range of Luna Park related events and activities kicking off from Friday 31 July...


Luna Park 10 Years - a case study for public art in the 21st Century

Sunday 2 August, 19.00hrs, Free. BOOK NOW.

Artists Heather & Ivan Morison will be in conversation with Joanne Bushnell, Director of Aspex and Hannah Firth, Director of Programme at Chapter via Zoom.
Mindful of recent debate about who chooses the sculptures and statues in public space, this conversation will consider the impact of Luna Park, and how ten years on from a commission led by Chapter Arts Centre in Cardiff, the Ultrasaurus sculpture is now firmly held by the people of Portsmouth as part of their city’s heritage.


Dinosaur Cake Competition | #Deliciousaurus

Friday 31 July - Wednesday 26 August

Aspex has teamed up with the The Tenth Hole cafe to run an online baking competition, inviting local people to make a Southsea Dinosaur birthday cake. Entrants can upload photos of their creations to the Facebook event page, on Instagram using #Deliciousaurus or email them to before Wednesday 26 August to be in with a chance of winning one of The Tenth Hole’s coveted cakes.

Judging will take place on the weekend of 28th Aug. The winner will be announced on the following Bank Holiday Monday and awarded a full size cake of their choice from The Tenth Hole.

The Tenth Hole will also have a Southsea Dinosaur special in their cake cabinet on the Luna Park anniversary weekend, 31st July-2nd August.


Do-YouThink-They-Saw-Us Trail

Supported by local partners including Portsmouth Creates, Fratton Big Local and Portsmouth City Council, Aspex has initiated the Do-YouThink-They-Saw-Us Trail of fifty Ultrasaurus dinosaurs on posters and in the windows of local businesses across the city, which can be spotted throughout August and shared on social media at #SouthseaDinosaur.



Free on @aspex_takepart and our Blog
Join us for weekly #AspexatHome Mini Makers & Family Saturdays, all inspired by Luna Park & the Southsea Dinosaur! All activities are suitable for you to complete at home with your little dinosaur fans!


St George’s School Exhibition | Luna Park

Wednesday 12 August - Sunday 11 October

Children at St George's Beneficial C of E Primary School in Portsea have been taking part in remote workshops with artist Alison Carlier, responding to Luna Park. See the artwork they have made in a special exhibition in the Aspex Learning Space.

Crowdfunder | Bring Back The Southsea Dinosaur 

Friday 31 July - Tuesday 1 September

We are crowdfunding for a permanent tribute to Luna Park; a piece of public art which will combine a bronze sculpture and integrated Augmented Reality archive, conserving and showcasing the photos and memories of Portsmouth’s residents. On our Crowdfunder page you can pledge for one of the fantastic rewards we are offering including artworks, Luna Park 10 Years t-shirts and bags, original Luna Park (2010) limited editions and some super special experiences.


And to share your photos and videos for the digital archive email or call the Luna Park Hotline and leave your memories as a message: 07488 266872.

Luna Park 10 Years (2020) has been commissioned 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. The activities programme is also supported by Fratton Big Local, The Tenth Hole and media partner, The Portsmouth News.


Luna Park(2010) was a Chapter initiative, commissioned in collaboration with Safle through the Studio Safle programme, Aspex Portsmouth and Firstsite Colchester. The project received generous financial support from Safle, The Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation, the Arts Council of Wales, Arts Council England through Sustain and was part-financed by the European Union.