Last Summer, Pollyanna Pickering was invited to paint one of the most unusual pieces of artwork she has ever completed – a life size lion sculpture. The lion ‘Good Morning Africa’ was unveiled by Virginia McKenna at the Born Free Foundation’s ‘Pride in the Park’ event before joining the rest of a forty strong pride on the streets of Northampton. The exhibition ‘Pride of Northampton’ brought an explosion of colour and excitement to the City’s streets and open spaces, capturing the hearts and imagination of both residents and visitors.
At the beginning of September, the Pride of Northampton lions came off the streets, were given a new coat of paint and auctioned off for charity by celebrity auctioneer Jonty Hearnden. Pollyanna was delighted to be able to attend – and even more delighted, when despite fierce opposition – including telephone bids – she was able to secure the highest bid for ‘her’ lion, and bring him home to the Peak District. “After spending so long working on the lion it was a real wrench to see him taken away from my gallery to go on public exhibition” she commented. “I had never worked on a 3 dimensional piece of art before – and I thought it would be wonderful to give the visitors to my gallery the opportunity to see him as well.”
The auction raised approx. £65,000 which was dived between the Born Free Foundation and the Cynthia Spencer Hospice. Pollyanna’s lion ‘Good Morning Africa’ achieved one of the top three highest prices of all the forty lions sold on the evening.
‘Good Morning Africa’ will now form the centrepiece of Pollyanna’s Summer Exhibition ‘Painted with Pride’. Visitors to her private gallery will have the first opportunity to view the lion following the close of the Pride of Northampton event. The exhibition will feature over 50 new original paintings, many inspired by the techniques Pollyanna used to create the design for her sculpture. ‘Good Morning Africa’ includes imagery inspired by prehistoric African Rock Art, alongside script and lettering, and Pollyanna has expanded these ideas and inspirations to create some unique and innovative artwork for the exhibition. On display alongside these pieces will be a selection of more ‘traditional’ canvases featuring endangered wildlife Pollyanna has painted on her journeys around the globe.
A percentage of all sales from the exhibition, which will run from 18th June – 1st July 10.00am – 6.00pm at Brookvale House, Oaker, Matlock, Derbyshire DE4 2JJ. (AA Signposted) will again support a vital conservation project. The Pollyanna Pickering Foundation is raising funds to build an enclosure to shelter highly endangered orphaned wild dog cubs in a wildlife sanctuary in Namibia.