'Roary' the Bengal Tiger
Edinburgh Festival, 2011
In 2011 I was invited, along with over 100 fellow artists, to paint a life-size sculpture of an Asian animal as part of the 'Jungle City' initiative to raise funds for endangered species. I chose a Bengal tiger who was later christened "Roary' by a group of school children who visited during the North Fife Open Studio weekend in 2011.
During the festival Edinburgh was transformed into a virtual jungle, filled to the brim with exotic creatures – the sounds of the city replaced by the trumpeting of elephants, birdsong and the chatter of monkeys. The event featured 130 life-sized sculptures of some of the planet's most endangered species, and aimed to raise funds to support their survival and preservation. The animals populated the Royal Botanical Gardens throughout August before being unleashed onto the streets of Edinburgh in September 2011.
One of the highlights of the event was the Jungle City auction held by Sotheby's at a glittering evening gala dinner at the National Museums of Scotland, Chamber Street, Edinburgh. A selection of animal sculptures from the collection were put up for auction on the night and I was very pleased that 'Roary' was chosen to be amongst the lots to 'go under the hammer'.
I grew very attached to my tiger as he became such a feature of the studio and a major talking point when people came to visit. I was sad to see him go, but I'm pleased to report that 'Roary' went to a very good home, where I know he is looked after and cherished. He made the very respectable sum of £6000 at auction for his endangered 'relatives'. Well done Roary!
'The animals populated the Royal Botanical Gardens throughout August before being unleashed onto the streets of Edinburgh in September 2011.'