Rutland Sea Dragon to be brought to life in Mill Street, Oakham, by street artist Julian Beever
Shoppers could come face to face with the Rutland Sea Dragon today after work began on a seven-metre-long 3D pavement drawing of the prehistoric creature.
Wold-famous street artist Julian Beever set to work in Mill Street, Oakham, on Thursday and will spend four days bringing to life the fossilised ichthyosaur found in Rutland Water last year.
It was the largest ichthyosaur ever discovered in Great Britain.
The Mill Street Traders Association commissioned the drawing as a way to draw more shoppers into their street.
Julian, from Melton Mowbray, is renowned for his anamorphic illusions - images drawn in a special distortion to create an impression of three dimensions when seen from a particular viewpoint.
He receives commissions from across the world, but has special ties to this project, having gone to school in the town.
Mill Street jeweller Lucy Flint first suggested using chalk drawing as a promotional tool last year.
“One of the best in the business lives in Melton Mowbray so we contacted him ,” said Chris Gunby, owner of Creme Hair and Beauty.
“When the Rutland Sea Dragon was found, he rang again and said ‘this is what we need to be doing’.
“We are all buzzing - his work is amazing.”
The association was formed as a way of connecting businesses in Mill Street and working together to drum up trade post-lockdown.
“Before no-one spoke to each other because there was no way to speak to each other,” Chris explained.
“So we set up a WhatsApp group and from there set up a proper association.
“Working together has been fantastic for the street and has definitely improved trade.”