EDITION 1 - SINGAPORE - 19 May 2023 - 18 May 2024
Gardens By The Bay, 18 Marina Gardens Dr, Singapore 018953
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Love The Hippopotamus
This 9-year-old female is sick of being so close to other hippos. They aren’t the most patient of animals so when they are forced so close, tempers get hot. She wishes there were more options for them to go, but water holes seem to be harder and harder to find and hot property for every hippo around. She is on a mission to let the people know that they need the water holes for themselves, and on a side note, they need their tusks to stay in their mouths too!
The water-loving giants were given the name “river horse” by the Greeks and for good reason. The hippopotamus spends up to 16 hours of its day in the water, keeping cool from the baking African sun. They are very graceful swimmers and can hold their breath for up to minutes. This isn’t surprising considering their closest relatives are whales and dolphins. They secrete an oily red substance to protect themselves from the harsh rays which act as a sunblock and moisturiser and may even protect them against germs. This red stuff sparked a few rumours that they sweat blood but we can assure you that this isn’t true!
As the sun goes down the hippos come out of the water to graze on grasses. Hippos can get a bit feisty. They are highly aggressive and very unpredictable making them one of the most dangerous animals in the world. They are very good runners and can match humans for speed for short distances. They also have an impressive yawn which can be used as a threat display.
Hippos love the water so much they even mate and give birth there. The baby must swim to the surface to take their first breath so are born swimming! The babies need a lot of help from mum, resting on her back if the water is too deep for them and as protection from predators such as crocodiles, lions, hyenas and male hippos. When they want to suckle, they may have to do it underwater where they close their ears and nostrils so they don’t breathe in water. Hippo mothers are very protective of their calves but will sometimes leave them in nurseries under the watchful eye of a few adults. Here, the babies can have playfights with other calves, developing important skills for when they are full grown. The calves are fully weaned after a year.
Hippos are threatened by habitat loss, seeing their favourite water holes drying up at an alarming rate. With climate change reducing the rainy season they are also seeing reduced food options. They are also at major risk from poaching, a 2006 study showing a 20% reduction of their populations in the past decade. They are killed for their meat as well as the ivory from their tusks. Like elephants, this ivory is worth a lot of money and is a huge draw for many people desperate to make a living. Many local people are also reliant on their meat for food.
HOW TO HELP
Inspired by 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.
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. here to browse art > https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/love-the-last-march