In December 2016 Pollyanna stepped off a plane on to Australian soil – and in doing so successfully completed an incredible quest – to be one of the few artists who have painted on all seven continents. Driven by the beauty and intricacy of the wilderness, she is renowned for her travels into some of the most remote and inhospitable parts of the world, where she studies and paints endangered species in their increasingly fragile habitats.
Check back soob for a feature page about this joureny including photos & sketches.
On all except the very first of her journeys, Pollyanna has been accompanied by her daughter and business partner Anna-Louise (above) who not only organises the expeditions, but also documents them photographically for Pollyanna’s talks and books, and keeps detailed journals which then form the basis for the text of the books about their travels.
Several of their expeditions have been truly ground breaking. In the early 1990’s they were the first two western women ever to travel to a remote area of the Borderlands of China and Tibet, where they worked in a hospital for pandas – and incredibly also sighted a wild Giant Panda – at a time when fewer than 50 westerners had ever done so. In 2008 Pollyanna was granted a fellowship from the Canada based Artists for Conservation Society and undertook a landmark expedition into the remote and isolated Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, carrying their expedition flag. She became the first western artist to comprehensively study and paint the wildlife of the kingdom, and the resulting paintings were exhibited in the UK, Canada and New York – and this year will also be shown in China. Pollyanna is the only artist ever to have sketched the Ethiopian Wolf from life. The rarest wolf in the world, there are none in captivity anywhere – even in Africa – and Pollyanna travelled to the Sanetti Plateau high in the Bale Mountains to search for them.
Most importantly every single expedition which Pollyanna has undertaken has subsequently inspired a collection of paintings – and each exhibition of this work has raised vital funds for a conservation or community project in that country. From building a rehabilitation enclosure for orphaned painted dogs in Namibia to rescuing a moon bear from the unspeakably cruel bile farming trade, carefully selected projects help some of the most vulnerable species globally.
And although Australia might be the final continent for Pollyanna it is definitely not the final journey – this Summer she will be heading to Brazil in search of jaguars in the Amazon basin. She is also looking forward to joining Born Free in Kenya to help build lion proof enclosures for Masai cattle, and will be returning to the deserts of Arizona to continue studying their unique wildlife prior to a one man exhibition in Tucson in 2018
Pollyanna and her daughter Anna-Louise tried their hands at a brand new career in May– they spent a day alongside the fire-fighters at South Yorkshire Fire & Rescue’s Aston Park fire station.
They were the winning bidders for the fire-fighter experience day at an Age UK charity auction held at Aston Hall Hotel last autumn. Pollyanna was attending the gala dinner in her role as a Patron of Rotherham’s Gallery Town Art Project – and couldn’t resist bidding for this unique lot!
The fire-fighters were delighted to welcome the intrepid duo to the station. The day included a tour of the station and a look at the fire engines and all the equipment on board, along with trying on the fire-fighters uniform and wearing the breathing apparatus. They experienced the thrill of being raised up in the ‘cherry picker’ a hydraulic lifting platform, and even tried their hand at dismantling wrecked cars using the specialised lifting and spreading equipment.
Aston Park is a full time station situated just off Junction 31 of the M1. The station area is mainly rural but does cover a number of industrial estates and some residential areas
Station Manager Paul Bragger said; “It was a pleasure to meet Pollyanna and Anna-Louise and show them around our station and give them an insight in to the day to day running of a fire station. Fire stations remain important parts of local communities so beyond our core emergency response and prevention work, it’s important to be able to give people an insight into our work.”
Following her day with the fire-fighters, Pollyanna commented “It was absolutely fascinating to see behind the scenes at a working fire station and I was so impressed by the skill, bravery and dedication of the whole team.”
Date: 21st September 7.30pm
Venue : St Leonard’s Community Centre, Bramcote Lane, Wollaton, Nottingham (opposite Wollaton library)
Details : Pollyanna is delighted to return once again to the Natural History Society to give her new talk about her recent journey to the ends of the earth – Antarctica. The great white continent is one of the last true wilderness areas on earth, home to the world’s greatest concentration of wildlife, where penguins, seals and whales are the only permanent residents.
Pollyanna boarded a National Geographic expedition ship, joining their world-renowned photographers, and a team of naturalists to explore the abundant wildlife and spectacular scenery of the Antarctic Peninsula. The epic voyage departed from Ushuaia, at the bottom tip of Patagonia – known as the city at the end of the world – for a 48 hour crossing of the notorious Drake Passage – widely regarded as being the roughest and most treacherous stretch of ocean in the world. Pollyanna was inspired not only by the wildlife, but also by the magnificent landscapes of the Antarctic, the planet’s least explored continent and the most geographically and climatically extreme environment on earth with sweeping vistas of ice covered mountain peaks and glaciers. This talk will also include the first chance to see Pollyanna’s latest paintings inspired by the expedition, which will allow her to share her impressions of the spectacular beauty of the coldest, driest, but probably most awe-inspiring place on earth.
Visitor tickets £6 each available in advance from: the WNHS Secretary 0115 9286289 or 0115 9283679
Date : 23rd September 7.00pm
Venue : Haworth Art Gallery Manchester Road Accrington Lancashire BB5 2JS
Details : In her role as patron of the Art Fair Pollyanna is looking forward to performing the official opening ceremony at the preview evening. The event will showcase the work of several Hyndburn artists who will donate 50 percent of their sales to the charity. Pollyanna will also present a display of work on the preview evening, and there will be a chance to win one of her original canvases of a tiger in a prize draw.
For details of attending the free preview event, contact email@example.com or Tel 01254 388 111
Date : 24th & 25th September 12 noon – 4.15pm
Venue : Haworth Art Gallery Manchester Road Accrington Lancashire BB5 2JS
Details : Pollyanna is proud to act as patron of this two day Art Fair which raises funds for Macmillan Cancer Support. Last year’s event raised over £5000.00. The event will showcase the work of several Hyndburn artists who will donate 50 percent of their sales to the charity.
Date : 24th September – 20th November
Venue : Dudley Museum & Art Gallery St James’s Road, Dudley DY1 1HU
Details : In her role as patron of TWASI Pollyanna is pleased to include original work in this exhibition of members work.
The Wildlife Art Society International was founded in 1992 and has grown to be one of the leading Wildlife Art Societies in the UK and continues to grow in recognition internationally.
Date: 25th September 3.00pm, 7.00pm
Channel: Create and Craft
Details: Pollyanna will return to the Ideal World TV studios to appear live on FIVE one hour shows to launch her brand new papercrafting DVDrom and paperkit exclusively on the Create and Craft channel. For the very first time this launch will feature a selection of Pollyanna’s paintings inspired by the farmyard!
For the special launch, Pollyanna will be making a rare two day visit to the studios, to guest on 2 shows on Sunday, as well as a further three live programmes at 9.00am, 2.00pm and 7.00pm on Monday 26th.
She will be appearing in the studio alongside demonstrator Lynda Chapman to talk about the real life birds and animals which inspired her artwork, while working on a selection of paintings live on camera – and might even try her hand at card making on air! And why not email in with a question for Pollyanna while the show is on air? All emails will be put into the ‘cup of chance’ to win a card which has been created live on the show.
Watch Create and Craft on Sky 674 | Freeview 23 | Freesat 813 | Virgin 748, and live online at www.createandcraft.tv
Date: 7th October
Event : An evening with Pollyanna Pickering
Details : A unique opportunity to join Pollyanna in the gallery during one of her exhibitions. Enjoy a glass of wine while Pollyanna speaks about the work on display, and shares the stories about the animals which inspired the paintings. She will also talk about the materials and techniques she uses to create her artwork.
Tickets £20.00 – all proceeds will go to the Barn project.
Find more information and book online at www.dronfieldhallbarn.org/events/