Your chance to meet Film and Conservation Legend Virginia McKenna!

Founded by actress Virginia McKenna OBE, The Born Free Foundation is an international wildlife charity working throughout the world to stop individual wild animal suffering and protect threatened species in the wild. This year the charity is marking it’s thirtieth anniversary. In recognition of this milestone, wildlife artist and S.O.F.A. member Pollyanna Pickering  is delighted to welcome Virginia as her special guest when she opens her private gallery at Brookvale House Oaker, Matlock, DE4 2JJ on the 13th of July for a special one-off open day and exhibition.


Pollyanna is proud to have a longstanding association with Born Free, which began in 1992 when she travelled to India to sketch five tigers rescued by the charity from appalling condition in a British roadside circus and flown out to start a new life in a wildlife sanctuary. She has continued to collaborate with the charity ever since, designing Christmas cards and giftware for them – and supporting them through sales of original work and limited edition prints. Virginia has also contributed the forward to two of Pollyanna’s books, as well as the book Wildness which features Pollyanna’s artwork alongside the poetry of the Born Free Foundation’s poet in residence Richard Bonfield.

Visitors to the event will receive an exclusive limited edition calendar featuring twelve of Pollyanna’s paintings inspired by the work of Born Free. Only 200 calendars will be published, each will be individually numbered – and guests will have the opportunity meet both Pollyanna and Born Free Founder Virginia McKenna, and have their calendars signed.

The event will be strictly by admission by ticket only. The price of £25.00 includes entry for two people, one copy of the limited edition calendar, a light buffet and five entries into a prize draw to win an original painting. Only 20 tickets are still available for this event – to book phone 01629 55851 or visit

As well as meeting and chatting to Virginia and Pollyanna guests will have the opportunity to view Pollyanna’s gallery, which will be displaying a one day only exhibition of originals selected to compliment Born Free’s work – and stroll round her uniquely landscaped gardens. There will be the chance to talk to representatives of Born Free about the wonderful work they carry out. Tea and coffee will be available throughout the day. All proceeds from ticket sales will be donated to Born Free’s wildlife rescue projects.

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