Land Rover has embarked on an unexpected expedition to preserve the precious African rhino and its habitat by joining an urban rhino trail across London. A gleaming Land Rover rhino model, embellished by chief design officer at Land Rover Gerry McGovern, made its debut in central London in the latest collaboration of a 15-year relationship with Tusk.
The unique 1,2-m long rhino sculpture was towed into Trafalgar Square in support of the Tusk Rhino Trail with the aim of aiding conservation projects for the endangered species. The initiative involves 21 sculptures donated and decorated by leading figures from the arts world after which it is installed at prominent locations across the capital city.
The metalic Rhino design traveled through London to the Trafalgar Square
The design of the Land Rover rhino uses specialist paint techniques from the state-of-the-art Land Rover manufacturing process to achieve a highly durable liquid metal finish. McGovern says: “I wanted to celebrate the magnificence of this unique creature. So, my rhino is covered in a chrome finish.
“The highly reflective nature of chrome means that it would be seen from a long distance, consequently creating awareness of the plight of this animal in Africa. The red painted horn signifies the absurdity of this beautiful animal being hunted for such a small part of its overall being,” he adds.
The chrome finish beautifully reflects the light
Traditionally chrome has been used on vehicles to communicate prestige. Land Rover has developed an innovative and sustainable process to create a modern interpretation of chrome using a paint coating called spray chrome.
Inspired by the dye treatments conservationists use to protect rhinos from ivory traders, the horn of the Land Rover sculpture has been painted red, highlighting the plight of this endangered creature. White ivory has huge value to poachers and one solution is to inject rhino horns with a dye, making them less appealing to hunters.
The rhino horn was inspired by anti-poaching methods
Chris Thorp, responsible business director at Jaguar Land Rover, notes: “At Jaguar Land Rover we are committed to working on projects that not only demonstrate the talent of our designers, but also highlight the vital work carried out by charities like Tusk.
“In our long-standing partnership we are continuing to enable Tusk to reach remote territories using the Land Rover all-terrain capability, making it the perfect fit for conservation work all around the world.”
The rhino is on display at Trafalgar Square and will be auctioned off in October
The London-based art installation was towed into place using a Land Rover Discovery SUV and is designed to raise awareness of the plight of the rhino, culminating in the celebration of World Rhino Day on 22 September. Each of the 21 rhinos will then be sold to raise funds for Tusk projects across Africa at an event hosted by leading auction house Christie’s on 9 October. To learn more visit www.tuskrhinotrail.com and join in with #TuskRhinoTrail.