Taronga Zoo banner bears Springwood teenager’s art

A talented teenager from Springwood has her artwork boldly displayed on a banner at Taronga Zoo after winning an art competition.

Reine de Villecourt with her competition-winning banner on display at Taronga Zoo.

Reine de Villecourt with her competition-winning banner on display at Taronga Zoo.

Reine (Rey) de Villecourt’s banner featuring five birds, was present at the zoo in August and will remain on display throughout September.

The 13-year-old Nepean Creative and Performing Arts High School student said she’d drawn inspiration from the birds in the rainforest near Taree where she was home-schooled before moving to Springwood two years ago.

“I appreciate birds and see why they are beautiful,” she said. “I lived in a rainforest and saw them daily.”

She said pictures on the internet of birds had also been useful to create the finer detail.

Part of the prize included a visit to the zoo with her classmates.

“Taronga Zoo is pretty good, but with your friends it’s twice as good," Rey said.

It’s not the first time Rey’s artwork has drawn acclaim.

At age nine she won first prize in the children's category of an art competition run by 'Art Toppling Tobacco', open to international entries but based in Sydney.

The drawing, titled “The Smoking Nightmare”, depicts the grim reaper smoking a cigarette while sitting on a horse.

But, the teenager regards art as her standby plan.

“I want to be a mortician and if that doesn’t work out, art is a back up,” Rey said.

“It’s an art, making the deceased look nice.”

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