Last night the Royal Parks Foundation
, the charity for Londons eight Royal Parks, unveiled an iconic new sculpture, Isis, in Hyde Park the first new public sculpture to go on display in Hyde Park for nearly 50 years. By the end of the evening more than 50 more plaques were sold as Isis was celebrated with a party held in a marquee afloat on the Serpentine, and attended by guests including Zac Goldsmith, Tom Aikens and the Lord Mayor of Westminster.
Isis is the focal point of a £1.8 million fundraising appeal, launched in partnership with Halcyon Gallery, to build a new, eco-friendly education centre at the Look Out in Hyde Park. To help raise the £1.8 million needed to make this vision a reality, the Royal Parks Foundation has collaborated with Halcyon Gallery and artist Simon Gudgeon to create Isis. The sculpture will have 1,000 plaques inlaid around her base, each one engraved with a personal name and each raising £1,000 for the campaign.
Park visitors will be able to continue supporting education in Hyde Park through a donation box incorporated in the base of Isis. An exhibition telling the story of Isis development and creation can currently be seen at Halcyon Gallery on Bruton Street. In addition, the gallery will also host a 'Meet the Artist' series with Isis artist Simon Gudgeon giving talks at the Gallery on 10, 11 and 12 September. This will be an opportunity to meet Simon and to learn more about the project and the story behind Isis at Hyde Park.
Joel Cadbury, Chairman of the Royal Parks Foundation comments: The 5,000 acres of London that make up the Royal Parks play a huge part in making London such a special city. Through this exciting new form of fundraising, we are confident that we can make the dream of a-state-of-the-art Childrens Education Centre in Hyde Park into a reality.
Paul Green, President of Halcyon Gallery comments: Isis has already had an incredible effect on people. By placing her in Hyde Park as the focal point of this fundraising campaign, she is helping fund the ability for children to be educated in the natural environment, and will continue to be a beacon of hope for future generations.
The proposed Look Out development will provide a doorway to lead thousands of city children into the natural world, encouraging them to appreciate wildlife and look after the environment. It compasses an area in the centre of Hyde Park and will replace an existing facility that is cramped and is not suitable for use all year round. The new sustainably-built education centre will have two classrooms and will also provide a base for The Royal Parks Education Team and their volunteers, plus the Royal Parks Foundation. The surrounding area will benefit from new wildlife ponds and nature trails.
Members of the public wishing to make a donation or see their name or that of a loved one engraved on a plaque at Isis in Hyde Park should visit www.royalparksfoundation.org
for further information.