The Year of the Tiger Exhibition attended by the TV presenter Chris Packham and his girlfriend Charlotte Corney, the CEO of the Isle of Wight Zoo. The exhibition was held at the Joanna May Gallery in Marlborough in November 2010. The research for the paintings was based on the tigers at Charlotte Corney’s Zoo on the Isle of Wight. Jo was also filmed while sketching for local TV on the Isle of Wight and photographed for the press. The event raised £2,000 for tiger conservation for WWF who opened the event at Jo’s gallery. Chris Packham also spoke about his experience of tiger conservation.
May – July 2010
Joanna was invited to paint a 6ft fiberglass Elephant for charity ‘Elephant Family’ raising money to save the endangered Asian Elephant. 250 Elephants were positioned around London.
In 2009 Joanna May held an exhibition in Lord Bath’s Orangery at Longleat, following on from the exhibition held at Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir Exhibition. For both solo shows Joanna used the animals of Longleat for her reference to create the new paintings. Lord Bath came to view the exhibition when it opened.
Joanna May held her first solo exhibition at Raymond Blanc, the famous chef’s hotel, Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons. It was attended by the DJ Mike Read and the actress Pam St Clements or more commonly known as Pat Butcher from Eastenders. After producing seven original paintings and one print of the Black Leopard for two of Raymond’s bedroom suites in the hotel, Joanna produced further leopards, tigers and lions in the same format as the Black Leopard but in gold and silver leaf for the exhibition.
While running her gallery and other commissions, Joanna had several meetings with Raymond Blanc to discuss the work for both the Sandalwood and Lemongrass suites at Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons. Lemongrass was a blank canvas as the room had just been completed. Raymond had fallen in love with the Black Leopard when he saw the painting featured in a brochure. Although the original had sold to Standard Charter Bank he ordered a print and then commissioned Jo to do another painting and purchased additional work from the existing collection – in total, seven originals for the two rooms. Jo comments, ‘we had so much fun designing the triptych – the Lemongrass suite had been inspired from Raymond’s trip to Malaysia and he wanted me to depict the rice fields he had seen on his travels. Raymond loves the art deco period so the painting was designed in a modern art deco style’.
Joanna held a solo exhibition at the Brian Sinfield Gallery in Burford Oxfordshire. The exhibition opened a week after Joanna was on the TV programme Spring Watch talking about why her hare paintings were so popular. The Gemini Hare painting was launched as a start of new series of paintings on the Zodiac and sold before it was aired on TV but was unveiled at this exhibition. After her first African themed paintings were launched at a solo show in London the year before, Brian Sinfield wanted Joanna to paint more of this new style of work but taking the animal pattern to the edge of the canvas like her first Zebra’s. It lead to the launch of her iconic Black Leopard etc. The Black Leopard sold to an art bank called Tempest Radford who sold it on to Standard Charter Bank and the show was a great success launching and selling many more new animals painted in this unique style. The Black Leopard was spotted by Raymond Blanc from a brochure produced for this exhibition and it lead to her selling one of the early prints to Raymond and also being commissioned to paint six more originals for his famous hotel Le Manoir Aux Quat’ Saisons deco style’.