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Lions and Tigers inspire artist Consuelo Child-Villiers new exhibition in London

“Black Jaguar” oil on canvas

Consuelo Child-Villiers new show, ‘Mythical Beasts and the Lion King’, opens at La Galleria Pall Mall.  Her mystical and serene paintings of big cats offer more than just a contemporary take on Modernism. A chance meeting with ‘Lion King’ John Rendall, who along with Ace Bourke famously raised Christian, the lion on the King’s Road in the 1960’s, gave Consuelo the idea to create an exhibition in support of the George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust (GAWPT).  The artist, who studied art in Florence, could not be more perfect for depicting big cats, as she has had the privilege of having lived with them, during childhood summers in Italy.  She tells us more about her work and love of big cats in the interview below.

Christian the lion with Ace Bourke and John Rendall

Your new exhibition ‘Mythical Beasts and the Lion King’ brings colourful paintings of big cats, which are very modernist in style. Are you pictorially influenced by any Modernist master in particular?

I am not necessarily influenced by any one Modernist master in particular, but by many in different ways….Picasso, Matisse, Chagall, Modigliani are all important influences…and many more…

“Snow Leopard” oil on canvas

Your show is in aid of The George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust. Producing art in aid of wild life is certainly a wonderful thing. Could you tell us about how this collaboration came about?

The collaboration came about through John Rendall, who is a trustee of GAWPT.  Although we knew one another slightly over the years, it wasn’t until I decided I wanted to create an exhibition in aid of wildlife, more specifically in aid of Big Cats, that I was reintroduced to John Rendall through mutual friends. This is how the collaboration came about. I am half Italian and grew up part of every year in Italy with my cousins. My Aunt and Uncle had many domestic animals in their African style house in Italy, but they also had a lion, a tiger, a puma and a wolf at different time. These animals mingled with the dogs and domestic cats… and with us! My passion for these animals originates from my Italian childhood.

Rex the lion with with Bubi & Ginevra Bossi Pucci

Big cats have always been a passion of yours, and they are a great source of inspiration to you. What else inspires you?

All things Mythical and Mystical.  Everything I paint comes from my imagination. I would say that my imagination is fed by dreams, the many books which I read, theatre, film, and learning to ‘see’ rather than ‘look’.

“Astral Nights” oil on canvas

Overall, what would you say your work is about?

That’s a tough one to answer! I would say it’s about expressing my feelings…a necessity for us all and for me it works best to express through painting.

“Lion” oil on canvas

Finally, how are you feeling about your new show and the prospect of helping the last wild lions through your art?

I just hope that people will understand the privilege of sharing our planet with these magnificent beasts and help me to help them.

“Mythical Beast & the Lion King” by Consuelo Child-Villiers


La Galleria, Pall Mall, London 6-11 June 2016

Article by Ilua Hauck Da Silva, World Arts

Posted in: News on June 6, 2016 by...