Roarsome dino art near Worth Matravers washed away by storms

A mighty triceratops has been spotted at a Purbeck quarry on the Jurassic Coast – but the artwork could only be seen from the sky and is believed to have been washed away by the weekend storms already.

New York graffiti artist David Popa was commissioned by Apple TV to create huge pieces of dinosaur art around the world to promote the channel’s second season of Prehistoric Planet, narrated by Sir David Attenborough.

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David Popa at work on the Jurassic art at East Man quarry near Winspit

Jurassic Coast rock was part of the design

A tyrannosaurus rex was created in Utah, as well as a flying dinosaur, hatzegopteryx, in Finland, but the artist said that the triceratops which he made at East Man quarry near Winspit, Worth Matravers, was his absolute favourite.

The Jurassic Coast design used the texture of rock to mimic the skin texture of the dinosaur and he used natural chalk, charcoal and earth pigments to paint in the other details.

His finished art – painted inside 12 hours on Friday 12th May – was so huge that it could only be appreciated from above using drone cameras, but has since mostly been washed away by the storms that swept through Purbeck a week later.

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The Tyrannosaurus Rex created in Utah had teeth larger than David himself

Pigments used came from age of the dinosaurs

David Popa, who has previously painted on floating ice, said:

“Interestingly, the raw materials and pigments I use are the same that would have been plentiful millions of years ago when the dinosaurs roamed the planet.

“My work would have been impossible without the advent of drone photography and it allows me to create pieces of artwork on such a large scale and have the natural environment complement the subject matter in ways I could never anticipate.

“The texture of the rock near Worth Matravers almost mimics and imitates the skin of triceratops so it was only my job to unearth what was already hidden.”

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David went to Finland to create a hatzegopteryx, a flying dinosaur

“I’m really pleased with the finished result”

David added:

“The Jurassic Coast is renowned for being one of the best fossil collecting sites in the world. I have always had a thing for Triceratops and I had been sketching a drawing of one with my kids a month before I was approached for this project, which felt like such crazy timing.

“The love for him certainly helped, as it was incredibly hard making him come to life on the Jurassic Coast with the varied rock formations twisting and bending on multiple levels, but I’m really pleased with the final result.”

Prehistoric Planet season two premiered on Monday 22nd May, 2023, on Apple TV+ and combines award-winning wildlife filmmaking, the latest paleontology learnings and state of the art technology to unveil the spectacular habitats and inhabitants of ancient Earth.

Winspit caves

Winspit quarry, where Disney had to abandon plans to film a Star Wars spinoff

Disney filming at Winspit abandoned

Apple’s was the second TV crew to arrive at Winspit Quarry inside six weeks, with Disney intending to film a second series of the Star Wars spinoff Andor there.

Scenes in the first Andor series were filmed at the old quarry in May 2021, with the Purbeck limestone caves doubling as the Star Wars character Saw Gerrera’s headquarters.

But returning to the location in April 2023 to film the second series, the geologist commissioned by Disney to ensure the safety of the crew noticed there had been significant movement of the rock and new cracks had appeared in the roof of the caves.

Faced with the potential danger, the filming was called off and the National Trust closed off the quarry to all walkers and climbers from Thursday 20th April 2023.

Further information

Learn more about Prehistoric Planet at Apple TV’s website

Watch the video of David creating his artwork

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