Banham Zoo appoints new artist in residence to promote wildlife conservation

Banham Zoo's new artist in residence, Libbi Hutchence. Picture: Contributed

Banham Zoo's new artist in residence, Libbi Hutchence. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Banham Zoo, on the Norfolk-Suffolk border, has appointed an artist in residence to raise awareness of animal conservation.

Pottery by Libbi Hutchence. Picture: Contributed

Pottery by Libbi Hutchence. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

Local potter Libbi Hutchence will be at Banham Zoo on Sunday to meet visitors and display examples of her work. She will also be at the zoo during this year for a number of events and activities linked to the attraction's 50th birthday celebrations, promoting its work and helping to raise funds for wildlife conservation.

By day a medical secretary at West Suffolk Hospital in Bury St Edmunds, and up to five evenings a week a pottery tutor at West Suffolk College, Libbi said: 'We are going to be doing lots of demonstrations with the aim of bringing art to everyone.

'I want to incorporate my art with the themes of animals, conservation and education. I'm really excited about it.'

Libbi, who is also celebrating her 50th birthday this year, added: 'Creativity is a very important part of my life and I am looking forward to having the opportunity to share the processes and creative aspects of my ceramic work and encourage and celebrate creativity in others during my period as artist in residence.'

Libbi Hutchence at work. Picture: Contributed

Libbi Hutchence at work. Picture: Contributed - Credit: Archant

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Banham Zoo has established ties with the art world, mainly through the Natural World Art Society (formerly the Natural World Art Group), an exhibiting art group based at the zoo since its formation 20 years ago.

The society has recently moved into a new gallery, located just outside the zoo entrance, which opens for exhibitions throughout the year and admission to the gallery is free.

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A spokesman said: 'The aim of our new project is to promote science, technology, engineering, art and maths (STEAM) at the zoo, and pottery is the perfect medium for this, as there is some serious science to this beautiful art.

'We hope our artist in residence project will be yet another exciting co-operation between the art world and zoo conservation.'

Visitors can meet meet Banham Zoo artist in residence Libbi Hutchence on Sunday, July 8 when the zoo is open from 9.30am-5pm.

The zoo switched from mixed farming in 1968 into an exotic animal sanctuary, now run by the Zoological Society of East Anglia, along with sister attraction Africa Alive! near Lowestoft.

Details of admissions and prices can be found at

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