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The artist, who took the famous picture of Diego Maradona holding the World Cup, photographed the big cat at a sanctuary in South Africa.
Fans can catch a first glimpse of Yarrow’s latest creation- entitled Catwalk - at the Maddox Gallery in Westbourne Grove at his latest exhibition titled ‘Changing Lanes.’
He said: “In building the story, my instincts were to play on the vibe of a Paris Catwalk.
“After all we had access not just to any cat to strut down our catwalk but the King of Africa, a magnificent adult male lion.
“I have been to enough fashion shows in my life to know that it’s a theatre and the attendees tend to be united in their passion and behaviour.
“There may be more cultural refinement in the Paris fashion shows than at a club football match, but both theatres attract collective tribes”.
Lion Whisperer Kevin Richardson runs the sanctuary, based near Pretoria, where supermodel Cara Delevingne posed for a photoshoot.
Today, @MaddoxGallery, our gallery partner in London, has unveiled ‘CATWALK’. It will be the centrepiece of my show that opens this week. It is a collaboration between myself and Kevin Richardson, & I hope, will raise substantial funds for The Kevin Richardson Foundation pic.twitter.com/M863lneg9v
— David Yarrow (@David_Yarrow) November 15, 2021
“The image is a metaphor for a time when lions will be admired and photographed by all, just the same as a model on a catwalk is; a time when a lion can strut its stuff,” Richardson said.
Yarrow wanted to indulge with the idea of a tribal crowd while working in the heartland of the Zulu people.
The team were shooting just a short drive away from the largest ethnic group in South Africa, with an estimated population of 10 to 12 million.
“My plan was to bring around 100 adult Zulus to the set - all dressed in traditional attire and armed with spears and shields,” he said.
“The word went out and we had no shortage of applicants. With each and every member of the cast, we discussed whether there were any cultural appropriation issues in asking them to dress traditionally.”
Yarrow was reassured it would be a celebration of their culture, of which they were proud.
Having worked closely with Richardson in the past, he has pledged a percentage of the profits from the sale of this photograph to the Kevin Richardson Foundation to support the protection and conservation of the lion population.
The photograph was unveiled to a select number of individuals on Monday ahead of the photographer’s latest exhibition, ‘Changing Lanes’, which will open to the public on Friday 19 November at Maddox Gallery, Westbourne Grove.