Charity Partners: ACCORD and St. Vincent’s Hospices
An absolutely roarsome, lion-inspired, public art trail became Paisley’s ‘mane’ event this summer. Paisley Museum’s popular exhibit – ‘Buddy the Lion’ – has inspired the project, which has also given primary school children the opportunity to decorate mini lion sculptures as part of the pride.
Lions were on the loose all across Renfrewshire on Friday, 21st of October, as the Pride of Paisley public art project came to a close.
The 25 colourful lions were auctioned off to the benefit of two local hospices- ACCORD and St Vincent’s- with the final amount raised a staggering £79,300.
Paisley Love Buddie was the most sought after lion fetching a magnificent £6,500.
The extremely popular public art trail was brought to the town centre by business regeneration group Paisley First as part of the push towards Paisley’s bid for UK City of Culture 2021.
Top Pride of Paisley Tips
The Wild in Art event is the BIGGEST public art project in the town’s history and raised awareness of Paisley’s cultural and heritage assets, attracting new visitors and tourists, as part of the town’s culture-led, regeneration strategy.
The event was led by Paisley First Business Improvement District (BID) and took Pride of Paisley place in the ‘Summer of Fun’ campaign!
Lions famously like to snooze a lot but Buddie, the first Pride of Paisley lion to be painted, was kept very busy in the months leading up to the event – touring the town, spreading the word and becoming something of a local celebrity. Prowling further from home, he even turned up at Glasgow’s Mela!
Some of the lion designs showcased what makes Paisley special, such as Catherine Bell’s Leo, who sports the stars that make up the astrological sign of the lion – in honour of Paisley’s Coats Observatory.
Proving Paisley is a Pharaoh place to visit, James Gow’s lion was inspired by ancient Egypt and his fascination with hidden histories.
Spotlight on the Artists
Margaret Fraser’s A Lion for All Seasons makes a play on the infamous Scottish weather that requires a Scot’s brave heart to appreciate it!
Mandii Pope has held exhibitions in Europe and the UK and Dubai. Many of her works are in private and commercial collections internationally. Her Chewy the Lion Wookie celebrates the much-loved, shaggy-haired hero from the Star Wars films.
While many of the lions were created by professional artists, the event was accessible to enthusiastic amateurs too, such as Andrea Cumming, who painted Summer Breeze. This is the second time she has been part of a Wild in Art event, having created ‘Gambit’ for Hamilton’s ‘Ready Steady Gallop’ in 2014.
Ferguslie Park mum-of-four Mary-Ann Wright is loving life after kick-starting her art career by painting a lion for the project. Mystique captivates passers-by with its bold, vivid colours and patterns.
Kay Marriott, an ecologist and self-taught artist who only began painting in earnest in 2015, now displays her artwork online and recently in a local exhibition. There is a strong natural theme to her lion, Fergus & the Ladybird, which is inspired by Kay’s lifelong interest in nature.
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