Pollyanna and Anna-Louise are proud to present their long awaited fourth book.
The Eye of the Tiger is the beautifully illustrated story of two expeditions to India recounting their unique experiences – working with project tiger rangers; being given an orphan sloth bear as a birthday gift; facing a charging tiger and living to tell the tale. At the heart of this absorbing travel journal is the majestic tiger and the heroic efforts of all those who strive to ensure its survival in the wild.
Detail of 'Spirit of the Himalayas' from the book the Eye of the Tiger
Pollyanna has long held a fascination for painting this increasingly threatened species, and in 1990 she travelled to some of the remotest protected reserves in the jungles of Southern India. Accompanied by her daughter Anna-Louise and the world-renowned vet Bill Jordan, founder of the charity Care for the Wild, she braved the heat and discomfort to be rewarded with a sketch pad full of inspiration. Entertaining and informative extracts from Anna-Louise’s journals tell the remarkable story of an orphaned sloth bear cub as well as Pollyanna’s visit to the Bannaghatta reserve to sketch the ‘Born Free’ tigers. These five tigers were rescued from a roadside circus in Kent, where they had been kept in horrendous conditions, in cages with barely enough space to turn round. Following a campaign by the Born Free Foundation and The Mail on Sunday, enough money was raised to fly them out to a sanctuary in their ancestral homeland. “The only image I had of these tigers prior to my visit was the black and white photos of them confined in their circus 'beast wagon', a squalid prison. To see them roaming free under the heat of the Indian sun was an incredible experience.” Pollyanna commented “In the sanctuary they can run for the first time in their lives, roam and even swim in the river” .
Pollyanna and Anna-Louise fell in love with the country, the people, the wildlife and the constant chaos that is India
In 2002 they made a second expedition, this time into the foothills of the Himalayas in the North of India to paint Bengal Tigers. Here they stayed and worked with anti-poaching rangers in the heart of a project tiger reserve. In order to see and sketch her subjects first hand Pollyanna was bounced, jolted, cut, bruised, scratched stung and bitten - and even charged by a wild tiger. "I have had one or two scary moments over the years of travelling to paint endangered species” Pollyanna commented "but I have never experienced a fear like looking into the eyes of a snarling wild tiger from a distance of four feet."
The book is lavishly illustrated throughout with Pollyanna’s sketches, and Anna-Louise’s photographs, and features 20 superb colour plates selected from the paintings completed by Pollyanna following her inspirational journeys.
Publishers Otter House agreed to allow Pollyanna to exclusively launch the book during a Christmas Exhibition at her own gallery before releasing it into the shops in 2008.
The Foreword for the book has been writen by Actress and conservationis tVirginia McKenna, founder of The Born Free Foundation.
Pollyanna and Virginia have become friends since Pollyanna’s journey to see the rescued tigers in Bannaghatta, and Virginia previously wrote the forward for Pollyanna’s first book
‘Giant Pandas and Sleeping Dragons’.
Pollyanna has been very pleased to support the work of Born Free and has designed exclusive Christmas cards for the Foundation, as well as raising funds through her own charitable foundation to support several of their projects, including the rescue of orphan polar bears in the Arctic, a programme of wolf inoculation in Ethiopia and the building of a new sanctuary for rescued lions in South Africa.
“I feel I have travelled every step of the way with Pollyanna and Anna-Louise on their Indian Journey. Shared with them
the exhilaration,, wonder, fun and all the other myriad experiences they had as they sought the elusive tiger, symbol of India…..I hope this illuminating book will open many eyes and stir many hearts”
The preface for ‘The Eye of the Tiger’ has been written by Nick Jenkins, International Director of IFAW. One of the world’s largest conservation organisations, IFAW works to improve animal welfare, prevent animal cruelty and abuse, protect wildlife and provide animal rescue around the world. we are honoured to have their endorsement for the book.
“Pollyanna Pickering is far more than just a great wildlife artist. She is a marvellous ambassador and campaigner for animals. It was this work for wildlife….. that led to her richly deserved IFAW Award, which was presented at the House of Lords. That passion for wildlife courses through the paintings, photography and words of this book.”
'The Eye of the Tiger...... is a superb and a truly imaginative blend of paintings, photographs and travelogue - absolutely fascinating and inspiring images."
International Fund for Animal Welfare