On Monday 7 September 2009, the Royal Parks Foundation, the charity for London’s eight Royal Parks, will unveil a new sculpture,Serenity, in Hyde Park. Serenity 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 in Hyde Park. The centre will be built at the Look Out and will provide a doorway to lead thousands of city children into the natural world, encouraging them to appreciate wildlife and look after the environment.
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 an iconic new sculpture called Serenity. Serenity will be unveiled on the shores of the Serpentine on 7 September and will have 1,000 plaques permanently inlaid around her base, each one available to be engraved with a personal name and each raising £1,000 for the Look Out. Park visitors will also be able to support the centre through a donation box incorporated in the base of Serenity. An exhibition telling the story of Serenity's development and creation can currently be seen at Halcyon Gallery on Bruton Street.
The proposed Look Out development encompasses a 1.3 acre site in the centre of Hyde Park, which welcomes over 1,000 young people each year. However, the existing facilities are cramped and have seen better days. The new sustainably-built education centre will have two classrooms and will also provide a base for The Royal Parks’ Education Team and the Royal Parks Foundation. The surrounding area will benefit from new wildlife ponds and an improved nature trail.
Royal Parks Education Officer, Nick Lane, explains: “Getting out into the Park is a great learning experience for city kids. The children enjoy over 15 different activities ranging from mini-beast observations, tree studies and the weather cycle, to recycling, birdlife and park occupations”.
Royal Parks Foundation Chairman, Joel Cadbury, says: “Please support the Look Out by pledging your plaque today to allow one of London’s most special places to fulfil its true potential.”
Zac & Sheherazade Goldsmith and Trudie Styler & Sting are amongst those who have already dedicated a plaque at Serenity in support of the new Look Out education centre.
“The Royal Parks provide some of the most important ecological centres in our country and Hyde Park is one of the least polluted spots in central London. The new Look Out centre will be the perfect place for young people to learn more about the natural world.” says Zac Goldsmith, Trustee of the Royal Parks Foundation.
Members of the public wishing to make a donation or see their name or that of a loved one engraved on a plaque at Serenity in Hyde Park should visit www.royalparksfoundation.org for further information.
Paul Green, President of Halcyon Gallery, who has generously donated Serenity says: “We at Halcyon Gallery are incredibly proud to support the development of education in Hyde Park. The legacy of this wonderful sculpture by Simon Gudgeon will benefit and inspire future generations.”