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The wild natural world is an exciting and magical place. It is filled with the most astounding beauty, fantastic adaptations, and charismatic creatures. People are always astonished by the planet which they had the privilege to call home, travelling to see incredible landscapes and remarkable creatures. But so often we forget to treat the earth with the respect and reverence that it deserves and this has had dire consequences.
We are currently experiencing the sixth mass extinction, and it’s happening because we are exploiting this beautiful and vibrant world in our obsession for more. In January 2020, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) listed 203 critically endangered mammalian species, including 31 which were tagged as possibly extinct. Every day, more animals, insects, and plant life are pushed closer to the threat of extinction with many already pushed over the edge. It is happening at an alarming rate as we as humans take over and transform the animal kingdom from one that is wild to one that is tame.
The thought of all this destruction can seem paralyzing. But it shouldn’t be. It should be mobilizing. We are the ones who changed the face of the earth but we also have the power to change it back. And it’s quite simple. We must restore biodiversity and stability to the world which is the very thing that we’ve been removing in our mission to control the world. We must re-wild the world.
Over the past 5 years, internationally renowned public artists, Gillie and Marc have been on a mission to save the world’s most endangered species from extinction. Through their global project Love The Last, they have been sharing the stories of animals to people all around the world, creating awareness and raising funds to change the fate of these animals before it’s too late. They have begun a movement to elevate the cause of conservation in the public mind and inspire action.
To make this count, every single person needs to join the movement, the movement of re-wilding. We must take up this cause with love and passion, spreading the flame as far as possible to make a better tomorrow together. Now, the public can join in on a great march for animals, for the environment, and for ourselves, in the great re-wild march.
We must all become advocates for the wild world. We must protect not only species of animals, but entire habitats, entire ecosystems. We must be mindful of how we are living and learn to once again live sustainably, “to move from being apart from nature, to becoming a part of nature once again.” It is only then that we will be able to change the course of the planet, moving from one of utter disaster to one of regeneration and balance.
THE SCULPTURE DESIGN
Inspired by the witness statement and latest documentary by David Attenborough, this sculpture is on a mission to re-wild the world. For such a big and important issue there needs to be a big messenger. Therefore, this public sculpture experience will be the largest bronze sculpture in the world at 192 meters in length, the next largest being the Statue of Unity’ at 182 meters.
It will also be the most important public sculpture experience ever created, living up to its colossal size in its value to all of humanity. Depicting the greatest animal march on the planet, it will feature 45 of the world’s most endangered species led by a great mountain gorilla, one of our closest relatives, marching together to save the animal kingdom by re-wilding the world.
At the front of the march will be a great silverback mountain gorilla, the head of his family who will do anything to protect them. He reaches out his hand, inviting the public to take hold and join him as he marches to protect his wild family. Holding on to him will be a chimp and the rest of the animals will link together in a single procession.
Each of the individual sculptures will be based on real animals that Gillie and Marc have photographed and sketched over the years, bringing as accurate an image of each of the animals as possible. The public will be able to move through the procession, getting up close and personal with many different animals they perhaps would never have had the chance to see in real life. To make it even more interactive, each animal will have a plaque with a story about the animal. On the plaque will be a QR code which will take the public to a webpage filled with information about the species and the threats it faces to educate the public on some of the world’s most endangered species.
But the part that transforms this from public sculpture to a complete experience is the addition of virtual reality. As people approach the sculpture it will come to life with a 3D animated version of the animals springing from the bronze, making it seem as if they are really there. This will be an opportunity for the public like no other, an opportunity to experience what it is like to meet the wild. This public sculpture experience is both a celebration and a call for action. It asks the public to join them in the march, celebrating the beautiful diversity of the planet. But to be a part of the march means so much more. It means taking up the torch to save the world and ultimately save ourselves.
There is one part of the world that has the environment at the core of everything they do. That is Singapore. Since their independence and initiated by their first prime minister Lee Kuan Yew, Singapore has been completely transformed into a tropical garden city. Through public awareness campaigns on the importance of cleanliness, huge cleaning projects to fix the pollution and degeneration of the environment, and policies focused on green initiatives including mandatory green building.
Singapore has become a metropolis of nature. Even though they are the third most densely populated place in the world, they have found a way to create harmony between the urban and the natural. With vertical gardens cascading down buildings and even a virgin rainforest in the heart of the island, Singapore is an inspiration to environmentalists and conservationists around the world, showing that it is possible to live with rather than against nature.
Because of this connection to the natural world that all Singapore citizens have and the pull to see this eco-hub for tourists, Singapore is the perfect location to host a statue promoting the re-wilding of the world. In their small slice of paradise, they have already achieved so much towards this goal. The sculpture will be unveiled in the Gardens by the Bay in May 2023 and will be exhibited there for one year.
In Gardens by the Bay, a beautiful 101-hectare nature park in the Central Region of Singapore, the animals of the world will march, attracting people from all over the world to see and connect to the values of Singapore. Surrounded by more than 1,500,000 plants, this explosion of nature and diversity in the heart of a thriving urban city shows what can be possible if the planet is a priority.
With the connection between the message of the sculpture and the location in which it lives, people will learn to live in harmony with nature to create happiness and prosperity within themselves.
May 2023 - May 2024
Gardens by the Bay - Singapore
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