Pride of Northampton

In June 2010 Pollyanna was joined by Virginia McKenna (above right) to officially unveil one of the most unusual pieces of artwork she has ever completed! ‘Good Morning Africa’ is a life size lion sculpture, designed and painted by Pollyanna as part of the Pride of Northampton event.

For a 10 week period in Summer 2010, Northampton’s streets, parks, open spaces and shopping centres were host to a pride of 5ft lions in the town’s most high profile event, engaging artists, community groups and schools and attracting regional and national visitors to the town centre. Pollyanna is delighted that she was selected as one of the artists to paint one of these magnificent sculptures, which brought an explosion of colour and excitement to Northampton's streets and open spaces.

Over £65,000 raised through the auction of the lions in September was divided between The Born Free Foundation and to a local Northampton charity, the Cynthia Spencer Hospice. Virginia Mckenna Spoke very movingly about the work of Born Free prior to the auction which was conductd by celebrity auctioneer Jonty Hearndon (above). We are dleighted that bidding was fast and furious for Pollyanna's lion - which fetched one of the highest prices of all the statues.

We are also delighted to say that the lion statue will be coming home to Pollyanna's gallery in June 2011 where it will be the centrepiece of her exhibition 'Painted with Pride'.

The statue was orginally unveiled by Pollyanna and Virginia at Born Free’s Pride in the Park Ball in Derby, where he stood beside the red carpet to greet visitors as they entered! He has now joined the rest of the forty strong Pride on display in the city streets of Northampton. Already proving to be one of the most popular lions on display, he has been selected as one of twelve to be featured in a pack of commemorative postcards. Pollyanna is shown below working on her lion watched by visitors to her gallery during the Derbyshire Open Arts weekend.

Pollyanna commented "The deep terracottas and warm golds and reds used in the design were inspired by my painting safaris throughout Africa, from the mountains of Ethiopia to the deserts of Namibia. The outline map of Africa and glowing sunset embody the wonder of the Continent on which the lion roams, while the main bold symbols of rock art were inspired by my visits to sites of ancient civilisations close to Born Free’s Shamwari reserve in South Africa. I am fascinated by the idea of combining my own 21st century work with the work of artists from thousands of years ago. Wildlife Art is the oldest art form - the earliest cave paintings ever discovered depict animals. As the project will benefit Born Free, I have included an extract of the evocative lyric of the Oscar winning song – while the compass on the back of the lion points the way to their inspirational conservation work around the globe."

Above - one of Pollyanna's paintings of a lion inspired by the ancient Rock Paintings in Namibia.

Previous updates:

Update 25.05.10:

Guests at the 'Pride in the Park' ball on the 12th June will be the first to see Pollyanna's completed lion which will be displayed at the event before going on to the streets of Northampton. Pollyanna will be attending the event, as will Born Free founder Virginia McKenna.

Update 07.06.10:

The lions will start appearing on the streets of Northampton from the 26th June - free trail maps will be available to help you locate all the lions!

Update 09.06.10:

The first posters announcing a special event beginning on the 26th June appear on the streets of Northampton....

Update 27.07.10:

Lions Now on the streets!

Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the City of Northampton and follow the trail around the city to see the Pride of Forty lions which have taken to the city streets! Pollyanna’s lion ‘Good Morning Africa’ can be found in All Saints Plaza. Trail maps can be downloaded free of charge at
or picked up at a wide variety of locations throughout the city. Souvenir brochures are also on sale. Grab your camera and head over to the city to see how many lions you can spot!!

wpridelogo BFF 05 trophy.aiCSHLogo

Bookmark this page and visit for regular updates on the progress of the sculpture, and for news of events etc. associated with the project.

Update 10.10.10

We are delighted to say that the lion statue will be coming home to Pollyanna's gallery in June 2011 where it will be the centrepiece of her exhibition 'Painted with Pride'. Check back next year for full details of this exciting event!

wpride1 The Lion arrives at Pollyanna's Studio.
wpridedes Pollyanna's original rough design
lion1 The Lion in Progress...
Pollyanna sprays her chosen 'basecoat' colour on to the white lion sculpture.
lion2 Beginning to outline the design
Adding some details...
...and the design begins to take shape
Pollyanna visits her lion in Northampton
Pollyanna chats to Jonty Hearnden following the auction