Chelsea Gallery 2010
Celebrity supporters joined John Rendall and the Art of Giving for the launch of the new Christian the Lion book in October 2009. During 15-18 October 2009, John shared his wonderful experiences with Christian combined with an art gallery event, supported by a wealth of amazing artists generously donating a percentage of sales of their work to George Adamson Wildlife Preservation Trust and the Born Free Foundation.
Through a chance meeting with Simon Tarrant of the then Queen's Elm Gallery, Chelsea, a conversation with Born Free and consequent meeting with John Rendall, created a pre-launch opportunity for Art of Giving which was too good to miss . . . to bring 'Christian the Lion' back to London and celebrate his life - just a stone's throw away from where he lived in the Kings Road.
The book shares the heart warming and true story of Christian. The lion cub bought from Harrods by John Rendall and Anthony (Ace) Bourke, raised in their Chelsea flat and finally returning to live wild and free on the African plains with the help of Virginia McKenna, Bill Travers and George Adamson. Christian's story is told in scrapbook style, using original photographs of him as a cub. These images are both funny, moving and heart warming. The simple and accessible text, told in Christian's voice, deals with themes familiar to little ones, love, friendship, play and exploration.
The story and film of Christian the Lion has been shown around the world and has captured everyone's herats. John and Ace's meeting with him in the wild was the most watched clip in 2008 with over 44 million hits on You Tube.
Christian, in this celebration of his life, and all current and future events, is an ambassador for those wonderful animals now so critically reduced in numbers due to human population growth, habitat loss, trophy hunting and depletion. GAWPT and the Born Free Foundation are doing everything in their power to raise awareness, to educate the world on how to save the lives of wild animals, stop suffering rescue individuals and protect rare species, but the cost of doing this relies heavily on support and donations to enable this to be achieved.
Christian the Lion photographs can be purchased from Derek Cattani through his website www.derekcattani.com