Giant Pacific Octopus by artists Gillie and Marc
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Love The Giant Pacific Octopus
Northern Pacific Ocean
This 1-year-old lady is a real giant, the biggest of her kind. She glides around her Pacific home with such grace and beauty, blending in with her coral surroundings and feasting on all sorts of clams, fish, and even other octopuses! But she feels the temperatures around her rising which makes it hard to breathe. She hopes it doesn’t get too much warmer or she doesn’t know how she will survive.
These giants roam the Pacific ocean, perhaps the largest species of cephalopod in the world. They can weigh 110 pounds and measure 16 feet across. And like all octopuses, they are very intelligent. It’s not surprising considering they have 9 brains! Not only that, they have 8 arms and 3 hearts. Each brain looks after something different, one for each individual leg and one for the nervous system. are coloured a reddish-pink which helps them to blend in with their rocky or coral surroundings. These masters of disguise can change the colour and texture of their skin in one-tenth of a second! Another fantastic tactic is their use of toxic black ink that they squirt out at any predators, giving them the chance for a quick getaway.
The giant Pacific octopus, while the longest living of all octopuses, only lives an average of 2-3 years and tends to die shortly after breeding. After mating, the female will head off to find a nice den or cave where she will lay up to 74,000 eggs. She will stay with them for seven months, never leaving them during this entire time, even to find food. While she waits she continuously blows water over her eggs and removes any algae or growths. Shortly after her young hatch, she will die as she would have starved to death, or perhaps even self-cannibalised. When the babies hatch out they are tiny, about the size of a grain of rice. Being so small and vulnerable, very few survive. Those that do grow very quickly.
It is not known how many giant Pacific octopuses are swimming about our oceans as they are very difficult to track and estimate numbers. Regardless of whether there are few or many, there are many threats to their survival. Because they have blue blood that is not very good at transporting oxygen around their body they can only live in cooler, oxygen-rich waters. With rising sea temperatures, they are forced into deeper and cooler waters and their habitats are destroyed, creating dead zones. These rising temperatures also speed up the development of the octopus eggs, interrupting the critical timing of food availability. Ocean acidification is also a huge issue, brought on by the increased levels of CO₂ due to our use of fossil fuels, deforestation, and industrialisation. A small change in the pH of the water can lead to death for these creatures.
HOW TO HELP
Based off real animals that Gillie and Marc met while travelling, the public will be able to meet individual animals.
With public art, more people will come into contact with these sculptures, will stop and consider them, will take a photograph, and will discuss this with their friends and family. Through this increased exposure, the message of love, family, and conservation will be spread much further than any piece of art in a gallery ever could. It will bring people into close contact and will help them to fall in love. With love comes a greater urge to want to create a change and save all endangered animals.
The sculpture will be aligned with the hashtags #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.
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.
Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for animal conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.
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
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