Left Lion in Nottingham is 'yarn bombed'

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A "beloved" stone lion used as a popular meeting place is being given a knit and crochet makeover for an A-level exam.

The statue, known by Nottingham residents as the Left Lion, is being "yarn bombed" by textile design student Nikki Charlesworth.

The 18-year-old decided to use yarn as a form of graffiti art after studying Olek, a Polish crochet artist.

Olek crocheted the iconic Charging Bull sculpture on Wall Street, New York.

Miss Charlesworth, a New College Nottingham student, said: "The whole lion will be covered in different brightly coloured crocheted and knitted panels.

"I'm still deciding whether or not to cover the whole head, I was planning to, but I quite like seeing the lion's face with all the crochet around it."

'Chic and comfortable'

'Meet me by the Left Lion'

Council House, Nottingham

There are two stone lions situated either side of the steps leading to the front entrance of the Council House, Nottingham's city hall.

The left one is affectionately known as Leo and the right is known as Oscar.

The two regal figures were sculpted by Joseph Else, principal of the Nottingham School of Art.

The lions, like the Council House, have become etched in the psyche of local people who will probably have clambered over them as children and used them as a meeting point with friends and lovers.

Source: Nottingham City Council

The Left Lion is so fondly regarded in Nottingham that a magazine was named after it.

Jared Wilson, editor in chief of LeftLion magazine, said: "Nottingham's beloved lion looks both chic and comfortable in his jazzy pink, purple and blue get-up.

"Nikki has done a tremendous job and should be applauded for her work. The jumper could also come in handy for him if we get another summer like this time last year."

Miss Charlesworth started her exam on Tuesday.

She has 15 hours to complete the work and expects to finish at 15:30 BST on Thursday.

Yarn bombing, also known as guerrilla knitting, is a type of street art or graffiti using items made from yarn - whether knitted, crocheted, or made into pom-poms.

Earlier this year, police encouraged people to yarn bomb a Leicester park in the hope it would reduce the fear of crime.

Miss Charlesworth said: "When I learnt about yarn bombing I became fascinated by the break in stereotype.

"Everyone associates crochet with older people, but this new art movement is breaking down the traditional methods of crochet and making it artistic, young and fresh."

Miss Charlesworth will take her work down on the last day but will keep the pieces in case Nottingham City Council wants to recreate the look in future.

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