British and Australian artists Gillie and Marc are contemporary artists who have emerged as eco-warriors with a profound reverence for the spiritual connection between humans and animals. Their June 2023 exhibition, A Wild Life foranimals, Wildlife, showcased at The World Trade Centre in New York City, introduces Rabbitwoman and Dogman, their beloved characters, alongside endangered animals, to the wider public.
The duo’s mission is to foster wildlife conservation by putting these creatures at the forefront of urban landscapes and educating the public about their lives, needs, and threats. Gillie and Marc's sculptures, particularly those in exhibitions like A Wild Life for Wildlife, Wild About Babies and Wildlife on the Edge exhibition, reflect the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal of Life on Land.
Gillie and Marc's A Wild Life For Wildlife exhibition not only captivates with its artistic brilliance but also serves as a powerful tool for raising awareness about wildlife conservation. In the exhibition's centrepiece, They were on a wild ride to a safer place with Rabbitwoman and Dogman, the artists’ self-explanatory characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman take center stage, accompanied by endangered animals riding in tandem and an empty seat that invites its viewers to join these animals on the ride.
Together, they create a poignant narrative of hope for a better future, as through the purposefully empty seat, the artists invite members of the public to join them in this quest to conserve Wildlife. The exhibition also educates the public about each animal's life, needs, and threats through educational panels that accompany the pieces. This makes the exhibition a transformative initiative that puts wildlife conservation at the center of people's cities and lives.
Another #LoveTheLast exhibition, Wild About Babies was unveiled at Perth Zoo, Australia. The exhibition contains 21 bronze animal sculptures, each representing the astonishing diversity of wildlife on our planet. Gillie and Marc's inspiration for this project was simple yet profound — to leverage the universal appeal of cute baby animals to evoke wonder and urgency for their conservation. By bringing endangered baby animals to life in bronze, the artists aim to trigger the parental instinct in everyone, fostering a collective desire to protect these vulnerable species. The selection of animals reflects the diversity of species that are experiencing habitat struggles, creating a visual representation of the widespread extinction crisis.
Meanwhile, their exhibition proposal, Wildlife on the Edge, is an extraordinary collection of bronze sculptures strategically placed in public spaces, parks, and streets. In the proposal, ten endangered species, including the African elephant, orangutan, gorilla, lion, polar bear, giant panda, and Masai giraffe, perch atop oversized everyday objects. The sculptures symbolize the shrinking habitats caused by human activities. Gillie and Marc emphasize the urgent need for action to counteract habitat loss, a threat exacerbated by urbanization, deforestation, and climate change. The sculptures serve as a call to action, urging viewers to touch, sit, and even climb on them, breaking down the traditional barrier between art and audience.
Gillie and Marc's dedication to wildlife conservation is evident in their meticulous creative process. The artists spent years studying, sketching, and photographing real animals to capture their expressions authentically. The attention to detail in each sculpture is a testament to their commitment to creating a strong emotional connection between viewers and the animals.
In conclusion, Gillie and Marc's sculptures go beyond being artistic masterpieces – they are a call to action, a plea for the preservation of endangered species and their habitats. The interactive and experiential nature of their exhibitions engages the public, sparking conversations about wildlife conservation and the need for immediate action.
By placing endangered wildlife in urban spaces, Gillie and Marc bridge the gap between nature and city life, emphasizing that wildlife is not confined to distant wildernesses but is an integral part of our daily lives. #LoveTheLast stands as a testament to the essential role art can play in creating a more sustainable world, reinforcing the idea that through collective efforts, mankind can be the driving force for positive change.