With an estimated 54% of us living in urban environments, it is easy to forget that we share our world with a wide variety of unique creatures with lives just as important as our own. It is also easy to forget that many of these animals are facing overwhelming habitat loss due to increasing human population, illegal hunting and climate change.
By bringing these animals into urban environments it sends a message that is hard to ignore. The artists are committed to making robust, eye-catching artworks that are designed to be touched, climbed on and photographed with. When people interact with the artwork it is the first step towards loving these animals and if people can love these endangered animals they can begin to care for them and act now to stop their extinction.
In 2018, Gillie and Marc paid tribute to the Northern White Rhino with their sculpture The Last Three being unveiled in the heart of New York City. While it was an amazing and humbling experience that raised lots of awareness for the last three Northern White Rhinos, it couldn’t save Sudan, the last male of the species, who passed away just weeks after the sculpture was unveiled.
While saddened by the loss, Gillie and Marc noted how the 17-foot tall sculpture had captured the public’s attention both on the street and online. Without the sculpture, Sudan’s death may have passed by unnoticed like that of too many endangered species. The artists realised the power art has to start a conversation and start change.
Thousands of people had sent goodbye messages to the last three rhinos, signed the petition to crack down on the trade of illegal rhino horn and donated money to Ol Pejeta Conservancy to help protect the last two Northern White Rhinos and the other endangered species that call Ol Pejeta home.
Gillie and Marc are determined to keep sharing the plight of these endangered species through public art and this time there are eight species they want to help save. But they can’t do it alone.
Love The Last is a social movement and Gillie and Marc need you to spread awareness and get involved so we can save these incredible creatures and make the world a better place for all living things.