EDITION 1 - SINGAPORE - 19 May 2023 - 18 May 2024
Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
Visit the sculpture, click for map >
EDITION 2 - MELBOURNE - PERMANENT
Melbourne Zoo, Elliott Ave, Parkville VIC 3052
Visit the sculpture, click for map >
Love The Chimpanzee
Central and West Africa
This shy 12-year-old chimpanzee enjoys living peacefully with her family in the tranquillity of the forest. She has chosen to remain with her mother and help care for her siblings, passing on her knowledge to them. She savours the moments of serenity with her friends but knows to keep a safe distance when the alpha male displays aggression. However, the alpha is not the only threat she faces, as humans pose a far more dangerous risk.
Chimpanzees share approximately 99% of their DNA with humans, and it is believed that we both had a common ancestor who lived between 7-13 million years ago. Research has revealed many similarities between chimpanzees and humans, such as having distinct personalities, being highly social, learning basic sign language, and, most significantly, utilising and creating tools.
Chimpanzees usually give birth to one baby at a time. The infants are completely dependent on their mothers, and the level of care and affection given by the mother is vital for a healthy baby. For the first month of their life, the baby clings to its mother's belly, before graduating to riding on her back at around 5-6 months old. They are able to move independently at the age of 2 and are usually weaned between 4-6 years old. However, they will continue to stay with their mothers until they reach up to 9 years old. During this period, the mother plays with her baby and teaches them all the crucial skills required for survival as a chimpanzee.
Chimpanzees are highly social creatures and have complex relationships within their communities. They touch, cuddle, and sometimes fight with one another, and grooming is a crucial aspect of their social life. Grooming is not only important for personal hygiene but also as a means of building alliances, strengthening bonds, and relaxing. Chimpanzees can spend anything from a few minutes to several hours grooming each other, which helps maintain friendly ties within the community. The deep bonds between chimpanzees can also be seen when they grieve for their dead. Those who were closest to the deceased exhibit more profound grief and spend more time mourning. Mothers will carry their dead babies around, while others will groom their friends. This demonstrates their diverse and intricate emotions, as well as their capacity for love.
Unfortunately, chimpanzees are now an endangered species due to human activities. The increase in human population has resulted in vast swathes of their habitat being destroyed, clearing space for city expansion, agriculture, roads, logging, and mining. This makes it harder for the chimpanzees to survive, forcing them to live in ever-shrinking spaces, putting a significant strain on food resources. This issue over food has resulted in human-chimpanzee conflict, with the primates being forced to venture into human settlements to steal food, mainly fruits and vegetables. When the situation is dire, they have been known to take children. In response, families retaliate by killing the chimps to prevent further attacks. Bushmeat hunters also target chimpanzees, as they provide a lot of meat compared to smaller animals. The hunters also take the young chimps as pets or sell them in the illegal pet trade, which is not a suitable lifestyle for a wild animal. As chimpanzees share much of their DNA with humans, they are susceptible to many of the same diseases that we are, and since the 1980s, Ebola has posed a significant threat to their population, killing hundreds of thousands of chimpanzees.
HOW TO HELP
Inspired by real animals that Gillie and Marc met on their travels, we invite the public to discover and interact with these beautiful creatures up close and personal – this allows audiences to connect, take photographs and share their favourite species with friends and family.
With more exposure comes more awareness and builds on the love we already have for animals around the world. With love comes a greater sense of urgency to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast to raise unparalleled awareness about the sculpture’s cause across the globe.
To help protect these animals, please donate to the WWF: https://www.wwf.sg/
WWF is one of the world’s largest and most respected independent conservation organisations. WWF’s mission is to stop the degradation of the earth’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. As one of WWF’s international hubs, WWF-Singapore supports a global network spanning over 100 countries. We work to meet key conservation goals, such as deforestation, haze pollution, food security, sustainable finance, sustainable consumption and illegal wildlife trade.
For more information, visit https://www.wwf.sg
ABOUT GILLIE AND MARC
Gillie and Marc’s highly coveted public artworks can be found worldwide including in New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, and Sydney. They are Archibald Prize finalists, won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, took out the Allens People’s Choice Award in 2016 and 2018 and Kids’ Choice Award in the 2016 Sculpture by the Sea and received the Bayside Arts Festival People's Choice Award in 2019 in Sydney.
The husband-and-wife duo are on a mission to make art for a better tomorrow. They are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together as best friends and soul mates.
Gillie and Marc are also passionate eco-warriors and have dedicated their lives to protecting nature.
Gillie grew up with the wildlife in Zambia and Marc studied chimpanzees in Tanzania as a young man. Over time, the artists developed a deep appreciation for all living things and a desire to preserve the magnificence of the natural world.
Gillie and Marc’s mission is to save species from extinction. Through their practices, they are transforming passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation, spreading awareness about endangered species and leading to change.
Their art has raised hundreds of thousands in donations for the many wildlife charities and causes they support through their project Love The Last.
Please follow @gillieandmarcart
If you are interested in buying art related to the Love the Last March, you will also be directly helping real animals in the wild, with 30% of sales going to WWF to continue their fantastic work for animal conservation. Click here to browse art > https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/love-the-last-march