An exhibition celebrating 20 years of the wildlife artist’s work and recognising her commitment to the region’s environment
In celebration of her 20 years in business, Joanna May has produced a new series of paintings for the exhibition representing her love of Wiltshire: ‘Crop Circles and Wildlife’. She discovered that some crop circles, very much a feature of the Wiltshire summer landscape, portray animals. In exquisite detail she has portrayed the featured animal next to the crop circle and embellished the painting with gold leaf, creating a new, stunningly decorative, and collectable style of work. The artworks in the exhibition are available to purchase – prints from £350 and original works from £2,900.
Joanna is known globally for her contemporary paintings of hares, leopards, zebras, lions and tigers, and her works, selling at up to £15,000, are collected widely. She has a listing in Who’s Who In Art and her artwork has featured on BBC Springwatch and can be seen at Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, Raymond Blanc’s famous hotel near Thame, Oxford. She has held exhibitions at her home in Wiltshire with wildlife TV presenter Chris Packham to raise money for tiger conservation, at the Savoy Hotel London with wildlife TV presenter Michaela Strachan to raise awareness for the plight of the Tiger in association with ZSL, London Zoo and with Lee Durrell to raise money for the Gerald Durrell Foundation and others.
The Hare on the Moon - an illustrated puzzle book with a difference - was published by Joanna in 2019. Readers are taken on a journey of discovery through a series of hare paintings based upon spiritual landmarks in Wiltshire, including Stonehenge. Avebury and Westbury white horse. The book has delighted readers and art-lovers alike and the final code breaker leads to hidden treasure and a return to her home Wiltshire for the hare on the moon. The book will be available at Wiltshire Museum during the exhibition.
The 5ft fibre glass hare, adorned with images from the book, will be auctioned (reserve price £600) with profits shared between the artist, Wiltshire Museum and Wiltshire Wildlife Trust. To find out more about the auction, visit the artist's Just Giving page.
Joanna May, artist and conservationist, comments: I am excited to be working on these new paintings featuring crop circles and indigenous wildlife such as - owls, foxes, birds, bees and butterflies. I am sure visitors will enjoy, and hopefully purchase, these paintings. Included in the exhibition will be a commissioned artwork depicting ‘The Moonraker Legend’ - the story of the moon being raked out of the local pond (The Crammer in Devizes) - part of Wiltshire’s folklore history. Other bestselling prints, 'The Hare on the Moon’ treasure hunt book and ‘Golden Hare Trail’ map will also be exhibited, alongside my new ceramic tile series of my paintings of the hare, produced by Artisan of Devizes. Orders can be taken for these during the exhibition. It really will be a journey and celebration of my 20+ years of my paintings, based on my love of Wiltshire along with other world wildlife that I have worked on with famous celebrities’ along the way.’
Heather Ault, Exhibitions Officer at the Wiltshire Museum, adds: We are delighted to host this exhibition of Joanna May’s beautiful work here at the Wiltshire Museum, - it is a complete and joyous celebration of Joanna’s skill as an artist, and reflects her love of Wiltshire and dedication to conservation throughout her career. The exhibition features several exquisite new works drawing on folklore and the beautiful natural history of the County.
Moon Gazing Hare
Star Gazing Hare
The Moonraker Legend
The exhibition runs at Wiltshire Museum from Saturday 18 March to Sunday 11 June 2023.
Opening Times: Monday to Saturday 10am to 5pm, Sundays 11am to 3pm. Before making your journey, please check our Visit Us page for potential changes to these times, e.g. Bank Holidays.
Entry to the exhibition is included in your admission ticket - book online. Tickets cost from £7.50 (concessions available). Free for under 18s.
Main Images: Barn Owl and Crop Circle (c) Joanna May