Here be Dragons

As you may recall from our Poem for the Pavilion blog post, the Royal Pavilion’s dragons often prove inspirational. We were sent an email yesterday by Neill Gordon from New Zealand that shows how one of our dragons has sparked imaginations across the globe….

[slideshow]’We’re very grateful to the Brighton Pavilion and the unknown artist who provided the inspiration for a recent party for our children. We recreated a dragon from the cover of an old Pavilion visitor’s guide as a 4-metre sculpture on our back lawn. He looked great, albeit briefly, before he was slain by my 11-year-old and a flaming arrow.  And when that arrow hit, that dragon roared. Children queued up to shoot fiery arrows at his belly. It was a magical night.
Dragons are our specialty. We have a tall thin-necked water dragon who shoots water across the lawn, a Welsh Red above the lemon tree and a smouldering Smawg curled up above the front door.

As I understand it your dragon used to (still does?) hang from the ceiling with a chandelier beneath. Our version was wood-framed. His belly and chest were pine cones inside chicken wire netting. His wings were fronds from a Phoenix Palm in the garden. My wife Laura sketched the dragon’s head, shoulders and tail on to mdf and I cut it out with a jig saw before she painted it. It may look like a lot of work but really it was in total about two days work for me and three evenings painting for Laura.

I may be about to incriminate myself regarding a copyright infringement, but we used the visitor guide image as the party invitation with the wings folded over the chest.

Laura is from Brighton and our two eldest children were born there but now we live here in Napier, New Zealand – a town that was once promoted as ‘the Brighton of the South Seas’.

I’m warmed by the idea that something created 200 years ago, half a world away still has enough life, allure, sheer oomph to inspire today.’

Neill Gordon

Thanks, Neill. You’ll be pleased to know that our dragon can still be seen on the upper floor of the Royal Pavilion.

The original dragon roundel in the Royal Pavilion
The original dragon roundel in the Royal Pavilion

  1. Richard Jackson

    Amazing, flaming arrows, fire breathing dragons, I thought NZ was safe these days!
    Does Neil have any other pictures of burning effigies?

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