The 18th of April was a night to remember at The Mall Galleries , London, as incredible pencil artist Gary Hodges opened his new art exhibition in front of a crowd of animal lovers and compassionate celebrities with the intention to focus in on the plight of the elephants.
It had been his first solo show in 22 years and he presented over 160 prints and drawings for sale, including 55 unique embellished prints. A large percentage of all profits were was to go directly to charities The Born Free Foundation and EIA (The Environmental Investigation Agency)
Celebrities in attendance included the fabulously glamorous and compassionate actress Rula Lenska who was hosting the night for Gary; the illumines and beautiful Virginia McKenna; the fun and passionate Anneka Rice (yes it was most excellent for each of us to meet the only other Anneka each of us had ever met to spell our names the same way, so we took a photo to mark the occasion); Jilly Goolden, Tony Mortimer and our bouncy and vibrant TV presenter & auctioneer for the night – James Lewis.
The room was rammed and vegan volovants poured out on trays alongside vegan champagne, which was wonderful and refreshing. The artwork embellished the white wash walls and everyone had their eyes on a particular drawing, mine was firmly fixed on the sea turtles drawing ‘The Incredible Journey’.
After a good hour and a half of champagne, the evening began with some wonderful heart-felt speeches by Rula Lenska, Will Travers, Virginia McKenna and the man himself – Gary Hodges…..Then it was down to business, the auction. Impressively it got off to a flying start and the drawings simply flew off the wall, raising an astounding price per item. Auction master James was brilliant at managing to add just that ‘extra’ bit on the final amount bid and cheekily played each bidder off against one another.
The end of the evening raised an astounding £133,000 for Born Free and EIA. WOW! This is an excellent amount and will go far in helping the elephants and other animals.
It was a joyous evening to which I enjoyed immensely and cant wait to perhaps one day travel out to Spain and watch Gary in the process of creating one of these amazing works of art.
To find out more about Gary’s work, please click through here: http://www.garyhodges-wildlife-art.com/
To read more about Born Free, click here: http://www.bornfree.org.uk/
To find out more about EIA, click here: https://eia-international.org/