In June Pollyanna was proud to open her private gallery for the first major exhibition of over fifty paintings inspired by five weeks trekking and camping in the remote Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan, one of the world's last true wilderness environments.
Bhutan jealously guards its lifestyle and ancient traditions, and Pollyanna is the first western artist to comprehensively document the wildlife and habitat in an exhibition of paintings. in the Spring of 2007. Pollyanna was granted a fellowship from Canada based society Artists for Conservation in support of the expedition.
She was the first woman ever to be granted a fellowship by the group - and the first artist to be selected from outside North America. Pollyanna acted as an ambassador for AFC throughout the journey, carrying their expedition flag.
A corner of the gallery (left) was transformed into a Bhutanese temple for the duration of the exhibition complete with prayer flags, traditional Bhuddist wall hangings and burning incense. A selection of artefacts brought home by Pollyanna were also on display throughout. Meanwhile the entrance way was surrounded by an exact replica of the artwork from a Bhutanese temple entrance.
The panels were painstakingly recreated by Pollyanna who visited the National Art School of Bhutan during her journey, . and met many of the final year students who will go on to create this style of artwork in the Himalayan temples. The dragon is the symbol of royalty in Bhutan, and they are commonly believed to bring good luck or healthDragons are considered as mythical rulers of weather, specifically rain and water, and are often depicted as the guardians of pearls.
The use of gold leaf and Bhutanese lettering and traditional symbols in ‘Golden Mountains’ (above) and many of the other paintings in the exhibition were also inspired by Pollyanna’s visits to the beautifully and ornately decorated temples and monasteries of Bhutan. We are delighted that Pollyanna’s publishers have selected this painting of tigers to produce as the first ever greeting card to be sold on behalf of the Pollyanna Pickering Foundation.
Two new limited edition prints were also launched during the event, which was Pollyanna’s most successful ever summer exhibition. Original artwork inspired by Pollyanna’s Bhutanese journey will now go on to be exhibited in the Art of Conservation exhibition in the Hiram Blauvelt Art Museum in New York which will highlight the AFC expedition programme. Pollyanna will attend the gala opening weekend to give a presentation about her expedition (see Events for further details).
The exhibition will then tour to other areas of the United States – the first confirmed venue is The Wildlife Experience near Denver, Colorado, an ever-changing museum, that features art, natural history, film and interactive displays to connect visitors with wildlife and habitats.
Several galleries in the UK have also expressed an interest in staging exhibitions of work inspired by this landmark expedition – further details will be announced in due course. The Foundation have published Pollyanna’s Bhutanese journal as a limited edition book – Click here for full details