The Zoological Society of East Anglia, (ZSEA) the charity which runs Banham Zoo in Norfolk and Africa Alive! in Suffolk, is putting up for auction the artwork donated to them by the elusive Suffolk artist, ‘The Hat’.
‘Anxiety’, an exclusive and stunning triptych painting by the artist, otherwise known as the ‘Suffolk Banksy’ was left at the gates of Banham Zoo under the cover of darkness while the zoo was closed to the public during lockdown one. It is widely speculated that the artist behind the anonymous moniker is global superstar, Ed Sheeran, although this claim is refuted by his team.
Claudia Roberts, Managing Director, said: “Thank you to ‘The Hat’ for such a kind and generous gesture during our time of need. ‘Anxiety’ is a magnificent painting that would make a beautiful addition to any home or private collection.
The painting’s name of ‘Anxiety’ is quite apt given our charity’s circumstances over the last nine months. Even more so, as the charity’s ethos is to provide opportunities to increase social wellbeing through the proven connection between wellbeing, animals and nature”.
ZSEA set up a new fundraising campaign when the pandemic first struck, ‘Wild About Survival’, to help Banham Zoo and Africa Alive! survive the difficult time ahead. The charity is now putting this painting up for auction with all proceeds from the sale of the painting going into this fundraising pot.
Claudia Roberts commented: “We are delighted to have raised £50,000 so far through ‘Wild about Survival’, but we still have a mountain to climb. ZSEA needs a minimum of £25,000 per week to care for more than 10,000 animals at both zoos; now with the added pressure of not receiving any income during two lockdowns.
By putting this painting up for auction, as requested by the Hat in their handwritten note, it means that a lucky member of the public can enjoy it from the comfort of their own home and we also get to raise vital funds. We are very grateful to The Hat, whoever they may be!”.
ZSEA were forced to close both of their zoos in March due to the coronavirus pandemic. During this time, they lost almost £2 million in visitor income. Although the zoos reopened, the implementation of social distancing measures and limited visitor numbers, in addition to the most recent closure due to lockdown two, the charity is still forecasting a drop in revenue.
The painting is being auctioned on Saturday 12th December by Lacy Scott & Knight Auctioneers, Lot number 2445. The event is being hosted online with live bidding from 10am. To pre-register for bidding visit the Lacy Scott & Knight website and search for ‘anxiety’.