Jaguar by artists Gillie and Marc
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 Jaguar
This 7-year-old male felt like the king of the jungle. At the top of the food chain, he feared nobody. But now there is something to be feared. Humans have moved in all around him, chopping down the forest and taking away all of his prey. Sometimes the humans will put their own prey in the new, barren places but he can’t eat that, the people will shoot him if he tries. This blockade of human communities make it a struggle to find a female to mate since they have separated him from most of the other jaguars. He hopes they can reach each other again someday.
The largest cat in South America and the third largest in the world, the jaguar is a beautiful and powerful cat. Their name comes from the indigenous word ‘yaguar’ which means ‘he who kills with one leap’. It’s the perfect name for this big cat who is incredibly good at stalking and ambushing its prey. With their powerful bite, they can pierce through the shells of armoured reptiles making them an apex predator. They often bury their prey to eat later or, being fantastic climbers, drag it up a tree, even if it weighs over 300kg! They aren’t too fussy with what they eat, preying on capybaras, turtles, alligators and more. This makes them a very important part of their ecosystem, regulating many different populations to create stability.
Aside from the trees, jaguars are also very comfortable in the water. They often live in areas with water and have adapted to become very good swimmers. They are solitary animals and very territorial. They will mark their territory using scrape marks, urine and faeces. Using their powerful roar they warn others to stay away from their territories or to scare mating competitors away.
They can often be confused with leopards and they do look very similar, each with rosette-shaped spots. But jaguars have spots in their spots whereas leopards have a simple rosette. Some of them look like they are completely black called melanistic. Both melanistic jaguars and leopards are known as black panthers.
When mating, the male and female mate up to 100 times a day. When the female gives birth, she will usually give birth to twins but she can have up to 4 cubs. As soon as the cubs are born, the mother makes sure the father is kept well away as there is a chance he will eat them. The cubs are helpless when they are born and completely blind. They feed on their mother's milk until they are 3 months old, growing very quickly. They will be allowed to leave their den when they are 6 months, following their mother while she hunts - learning everything they can. When they are around 2 years old they have learnt all they can from their mothers and will head out to find their own territory.
The main threats to jaguars are habitat loss, fragmentation, poaching, and human-wildlife conflict. Hunting has been banned in many countries and restricted in others but in Ecuador and Guyana, there is still no legal protection. The rate of deforestation in Latin America is the highest in the world with industrial agriculture and subsistence agriculture driving the movement. This leaves a major issue for the jaguar, losing a lot of prey forces them to turn to livestock as an alternative, an alternative that causes the farmers to shoot them in retaliation. This purpose for agriculture is also not being used to feed the local people but sent away to developing countries. This leaves the locals with little options for food, turning to wildlife as a solution. There is also the threat brought on by the demand for their paws, teeth, and other body parts in local markets. The Asian markets are looking to replace tiger bones with jaguar bones for their traditional medicines. It has been estimated that 20-25% of their population has declined in the past three generations.
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. Click here to browse art > https://gillieandmarc.com/collections/love-the-last-march