Former Army pilot Hannah Shergold collaborates with Born Free for her wild new exhibition

By Michelle Johnson | 08 May 2019 | Culture, Art, Philanthropy

Artist Hannah Shergold has collaborated with Born Free for her new exhibition at La Galleria Pall Mall

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* Artist Hannah Shergold has collaborated with Born Free for her new exhibition at La Galleria Pall Mall

Former Army helicopter pilot turned sought-after artist Hannah Shergold has collaborated with wildlife charity Born Free for her new exhibition. Shergold's new collection is inspired by Born Free's work promoting the survival of threatened species in the wild, and will be exhibited at La Galleria Pall Mall from 17 to 29 June. Not only will 20% of all sales benefit the foundation, but two paintings will be selected and auctioned off with all proceeds donated to Born Free.

The exhibition follows Shergold's first solo exhibition last year, which raised £50,000 for the UK Invictus Games team. As a British Army pilot, Shergold served in locations such as Germany, Canada, Kenya and Afghanistan. She was selected as the official artist for the UK of the Invictus Games in Sydney, created portraits of the competing veterans as well as founder Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex – who this week welcomed a newborn son with wife Meghan Markle – and ambassador David Beckham.

Shergold said of her new exhibition: "It is such an exciting venture to be working with the Born Free Foundation. Having met with Will Travers OBE, the founder and President of the Foundation, we were able to explore how I can create a collection that will hopefully raise a significant amount of money towards their incredible conservation projects. My style is continually evolving but will maintain the trademark abstractions and colours that my collectors have been drawn to." >>

Related: Born to be wild: Joanna Lumley on how she is bringing the focus back to nature

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* Artist Hannah Shergold has collaborated with Born Free for her new exhibition at La Galleria Pall Mall

Taking her abstract and colourful style of portraiture, Shergold's new works feature wildlife from around the world, including leopards, rhino, bears and wolves. Shergold previously told Tempus: "I’ve always been passionate about animals, so much so that I ended up in Cambridge Vet School [before joining the Army in 2009]. Animal behaviour fascinates me and this is what I always try to capture in my work."

Despite her drastic career change, Shergold says her twin passions for the Army and wildlife will always inform her artistic pursuits. "Much as the subject matter for my work has now moved away from Army themes, it was my deployment to Kenya that got me back into drawing. I spent a lot of time on standby duty to fly helicopter medical evacuations so there was plenty of time to kill," she said. "I started drawing my military surroundings – the camp, the soldiers, the vehicles and aircraft – but moved from pen and ink to watercolour which lent itself more to the natural world and I started to paint more and more wildlife."

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