Twycross Zoo is roaring with excitement with the long anticipated arrival of three magnificent lions!
On Tuesday 11th September 2012, three giant hand-crocheted lions in a custom built 16-metre long illuminated glass case will begin their three month stint at Twycross Zoo as part of the Lionheart Project.
The Lionheart Project is part of 'Artists Taking the Lead', a series of 12 public art commissions across the UK to celebrate the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad. A unique and highly accessible public art project, Shauna Richardson's Lionheart has been designed to actively engage and inspire a diverse audience from open studio activities, school and community projects and workshops.
Shauna Richardson is a Leicestershire based artist known for her realistic crochet animal creations, a body of work she calls 'Crochetdermy'. Over the course of two years, Richardson has individually crocheted three lions over nine-metre long structures. Celebrating the rich textile heritage of the East Midlands, Richardson has used 36 miles of Swaledale wool from the Derbyshire Dales, to create an interpretation of the three golden lions on Richard the Lionheart's coat of arms, a strong symbol of England.
Twycross Zoo's Arts Coordinator and Retail Buyer said: "I feel that Twycross Zoo is the perfect destination for this majestic art project. It is accessible to the whole family on many different levels, and children will remember the experience of seeing this piece for years to come."
The lions will be on show outside Himalaya, Twycross Zoo's free-to-enter state-of-the-art centre offering a 300 seat all-day restaurant with views overlooking a Himalayan landscape themed Snow Leopard enclosure, 4000 sq feet of retail space in the Bazaar and the Twycross Gallery.
Image top left © Dominic Clark
Image bottom right © Nick Hand