City Hall lions to be celebrated in new art exhibition

6 colourful lions

Ken Hurst's new exhibition featuring the City Hall lions - Credit: Ken Hurst

The bronze lions at the entrance of Norwich's City Hall have stood guard for 83 years.

Having been originally made by sculptor Alfred Hardiman and unveiled in 1938 by King George VI and Queen Elizabeth, a new event will show how they got their affectionate nicknames of George and Elizabeth.

The lions are now to be celebrated in an exhibition by Ken Hurst.

Hurst's show of new work last year featured a rendition of one of the lions and was a surprise star, selling out of its entire first set of prints. 

Ken Hurst holding an award

Ken Hurst - Credit: Ken Hurst

Hurst has set out to create more art including the two lions for his new exhibition.


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He has made six new serigraphs, silkscreen prints, of the lions that will be shown alongside a video of their creation.

The exhibition will be at Anteros Arts Foundation on Fye Bridge Street from August 3 to 14.

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The lions are a large part of Norwich's heritage and character, having been adopted as a mascot by local organisations like Jarrold and the City Council, as well as symbolising the city's mood, wearing Norwich City football scarves and donning masks during the pandemic. 

The City Hall lions dressed in the Norwich City scarf for the celebration parade. Picture: DENISE BR

The City Hall lions dressed in the Norwich City scarf for the celebration parade. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2019

“I just thought I’d add to their celebration,” Ken says. 

“For the new prints, I’ve preserved the integrity of the first edition by turning the lion through 180 degrees causing it to face to the left rather than the right and have set it against six different colour backgrounds. I hope folk will like this colourful new pride of Norwich lions.” 

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