Nina Siemiatkowski’s first solo exhibition of the wild lions of Africa: Book of Leon
After four years of work including five months in the field Nina Siemiatkowski presented her first solo exhibition in 2016 at Grundemark Nilsson Gallery in Stockholm. The exhibition tells the story of a specific pride of lions in the Masai Mara National Reserve in south-western Kenya and shows a unique series of images of some of the few remaining lions in the world.
“Book of Leon is the story about a family of lions in the Masai Mara. It’s about their personalities and relationships. It’s about their fates, the dangers and challenges facing them, about love and hate, and essentially about life and death in its purest form. Zooming out it is also a story about the bigger picture, about whether this may be some of the last remaining wild lions in the world, which again reminds us of how fragile our existence as humans is,” Nina Siemiatkowski explains.
Comprising 36 previously unseen works, Book of Leon 2012-2016, is the first in a planned series of seven. Today there are seven countries with lion populations in excess of 2,000 and Nina plans to document a pride in each one of them. All revenue from the project will be donated to lion conservation. In the spring of 2017 the Siematkowski Foundation made a donation to the leading big cat organization Panthera with headquarters in New York and plan to make additional donations in the fall of 2017.
Nina Siemiatkowski (36) is the former business school graduate who at an early age had a prestigious business career as head of marketing at a top 100 Swedish company, but then chose to make a shift to pursue a career in photography and conservation. Nina lives in Stockholm and while working on the project Book of Leon since 2012 she has had two children who, at times, have accompanied her in the field. She is also involved in global efforts to improve the situation of wild lions as well as other wild animals and their habitats. She is the founder of the Siematkowski Foundation and the Senior Marketing Advisor and a member of the Conservation Council for the leading big cat organisation, Panthera. Nina is also a board member of the Rewilding Lapland Foundation, within Rewilding Europe, whose aim is to preserve and strengthen Europe's wild landscapes and its culture.