LIVERPOOL John Lennon Airport (JLA) has witnessed some strange visitors passing through its terminal over the years, but the sight of a decorated rhino sculpture in front of the terminal building has already started to generate a double take from the thousands of passengers and staff passing through the airport each day.
This latest addition to the various exhibits located at JLA is part of a joint initiative by the airport, Visit Chester and Cheshire and Chester Renaissance, to highlight the airport as a gateway for visitors to Chester and the surrounding areas as well as the city’s status as an international visitor destination and tourism leader.
The Airport Rhino, called ‘Tino’, forms part of the Rhino Mania public art event.
‘Tino’ was chosen from a selection of designs entered by local artists, schools and community groups and is the work of Cheshire artist Mike Kilkelly.
It depicts a tiger’s coat on a rhino’s body, which the airport sees as a good way to promote links with Chester and its famous zoo where such animals can be seen.
Rhino Mania has been commissioned by Chester Renaissance and delivered by Wild in Art, the people behind Liverpool’s award-winning Superlambanana and penguin trails.
Rhino Mania is a 10-week, world-class public art event showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in the region that also boasts the biggest art-led education programme in the UK this year.
Liverpool John Lennon Airport recently moved into the top 10 of busiest UK airports and sees Chester and Cheshire as a key area to further grow its business.
Rita Waters, chief executive of Chester Renaissance, said, “We are particularly thrilled with the partnership working between Chester and Liverpool Airport – a vital link for our international visitors.
Neil Pakey, deputy chief executive officer of Peel Airports, said: “‘Tino’ is just one public way of showing our commitment to the Chester area and is a great accompaniment to the other public art we have on show here at the airport.
“We are already coming up with ideas as to how we can further develop this association with Chester and Cheshire after the Rhino Mania event has finished.”
Chris Brown, chief executive of Visit Chester and Cheshire, said: “We are delighted to have recently agreed a joint working initiative with the airport and have no doubts that this will bring many mutual benefits. Their involvement in Rhino Mania is a tangible benefit.”