Artist follows the yellow brick road to support people living with HIV

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A Brighton based artist has recreated an iconic cinematic image to support HIV and sexual health charity Terrence Higgins Trust’s Wizard of Oz themed Walk for Life fundraising event, held on Sunday 5th June.

Mr Purnam has produced a limited edition Dorothy character print in candy shades entitled ‘Lions, tigers & bears. Oh my!’, to tie in with the charity’s 10k fundraising walk, which starts in London’s Potters Fields Park. A hundred Giclée prints have been made, each one stamp embossed, numbered and signed by the artist. They are priced at £75 and 20% of all profits go directly to Terrence Higgins Trust to support people living with HIV in the UK. ‘Lions, tigers & bears. Oh my!’ is representative of his work, which mixes digital and traditional techniques, and draws inspiration from historic and contemporary cultural references.

Mr Purnam said of the work: “A few years back my partner volunteered for Terrence Higgins Trust, supporting the hardest hit by HIV, so I’ve had an insider’s view of all the great work the charity does. As an artist I wanted to contribute in my own way to Walk for Life. I’ve always had a bit of a thing for the yellow brick road, so this year’s theme of the Wizard of Oz was the perfect inspiration for creating a new artwork that’s positive, bright and celebratory. And I couldn’t resist the double meaning in the title – it’s one of my favourite Dorothy quotes! I’m really hoping this year’s Walk for Life will be a big success, and I can do my bit to make somebody smile.”

Walk for Life is a 10k event, which starts in Potters Fields Park next to Tower Bridge, continues up to Covent Garden via St Pauls and Waterloo Bridge, along the South Bank back to Potters Fields, and all funds raised go to the Hardship Fund supporting people living with HIV in poverty.

The event starts at 12pm in Potters Fields Park and takes an average of two to three hours, with walkers welcomed back to the ‘Emerald City finish, with entertainment including 4 Poofs & A Piano, as well as food and drink stalls.

‘Lions, tigers & bears. Oh my!’ is available to buy online from www.mrpurnam.com. The artwork size is 42cm x 59.4cm.

Terrence Higgins Trust’s Head of Community Fundraising, Simon Whiteman, said: “Mr Purnam’s print is already a huge hit and is the perfect recreation of what’s going to be a really fun fundraising event. A massive thank you to Mr Purnam for supporting us and people living with HIV with this fabulous artwork. We hope lots of people will snap these limited edition pieces up.”

It’s not too late to sign up to take part in Walk for Life and it costs only £10 to register. Log on to www.walkforlife.co.uk or call 020 7812 1665 to take part.