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Ann Cape The odd little bird (a portrait of Sam, Cam and Penguin Bloom)

oil on canvas

152.5 x 121.5 cm

Cameron Bloom’s 2016 book Penguin Bloom: the odd little bird who saved a family, written with Bradley Trevor Greive, tells an extraordinary true story. When Cameron’s wife Sam suffered a fall in Thailand that left her paralysed and deeply depressed, an injured magpie they called Penguin helped the family heal. The book was made into a major feature film in 2020.

‘Cam is a very talented and respected photographer. The images in the book were so engaging, particularly for a bird lover, while the story of his relationship with Sam was so touching,’ says Ann Cape.

‘You can see Sam’s determination in her face. Previously, her life was dominated with caring for her boys and her prowess in the surf. She has worked hard to develop her upper body strength so she can compete again in the water, as a kayaker and surfer.

‘Cam is very protective and supportive of Sam; I feel they have conquered the formidable challenge facing Sam and the family together, which is why I wanted to paint a joint portrait – with Penguin, of course!’

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