Monday, November 5, 2012

Pen-casso: A West Norfolk penguin gets arty


A modern day masterpiece, created by a penguin at the Hunstanton Sea Life Centre, is being sold at an auction in Norfolk to raise money for charity.

The art work was created after Dimi, one of the resident penguins at the Sea Life Sanctuary, plucked up the courage to wade into water colours left out by the staff.
Dimi then proceeded to create a colourful pastiche of penguin footprints on a blanks canvas to produce an original 'penguini'.

The Operations Manager from the Sea Life Sanctuary, Jana Sirova, chatted to KL.FM's Will Roe about Dimi and the project, listen here:

Auctioneer, Gary Barnes said: "We are absolutely delighted to be involved in the sale of this original and unusual painting.  My children enjoy visiting the penguins at Hunstanton Sea Life Sanctuary as do so many other people.  I suspect there will be a huge amount of interest in it."

Some critics have likened the Penguini style to Andy Warhol's 'Flowers,' while others feel it has more in common with the 'bright and wild' Fauvism movement championed by Matisse.

The auction is on Sunday, hosted by Barnes Auctioneers in Norwich, to raise funds for a brand new Sea Life Marine Conservation Trust, helping fund a wide range of environmental projects.

"It was actually just a bit of fun and a productive way of keeping our resident penguins stimulated," confessed one of their carers, aquarist Hollie Stephenson (pictured).

"Like all animals, penguins need new distractions every now and then to keep them stimulated and healthy, and their art project certainly got their attention.

"It was meant to be a collaboration by all the penguins, but in the end Dimi was the only one with artistic flair."

Dimi is the only one of the nine resident Humboldts – an endangered South American species – yet to find a partner, and staff speculate he found some solace in his artwork for his lonely heart.

Hollie added: "It took nearly a month for the penguins to pluck up the confidence just to walk on a blank piece of white paper, and it was not until the shallow paint trays had been in their enclosure for another four weeks that Dimi finally decided to go for a paddle.

"Dimi enjoyed his brief paddle in the paint, but after leaving his prints on the paper decided he didn't really like having paint on his feet and wouldn't go near the paint trays again.

"So this is the one and only painting he will ever be doing."


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