For a brief moment in history, on 19 March 2018 the world stopped as news spread about the tragic loss of Sudan, the last male northern white rhino. However, in light of this news, there was a glimmer of hope among shattered hearts in the form of a bronze rhino sculpture, titled The Last Three.
Installed in New York City by internationally renowned artists Gillie and Marc, the 5.2-metre tall artwork was launched mere 4 days before the death of Sudan. The sculpture became a powerful memorial, to which millions of residents and tourists flocked.
The mission? Create a legacy of Sudan and his species through art, spreading awareness and inspiring action to save all rhinos from extinction. Following the breathtaking success of The Last Three, Gillie and Marc have teamed up with Melbourne’s iconic Republica at St. Kilda Sea Baths and world-class sponsors to continue their endeavor with the launch of history’s most important rhino sculpture, featuring the only remaining northern white rhinos - Najin and Fatu.
On 2nd February 2019, the Melbourne public will be bewildered by the unveiling of The Wonderful Two, which will offer the creation of lifelong memories through a unique and interactive sculpture experience. The bronze immortalization of Najin and Fatu by Australian eco-warrior artists Gillie and Marc will be instrumental in bringing hope to the survival of rhinos!
The sculpture will be proudly launched at Republica, St. Kilda Sea Baths, right on the St Kilda foreshore, on Melbourne’s second most visited destination, St Kilda Beach.This is an incredible location that will give visibility and create awareness for this very important cause, so Gillie and Marc are extremely grateful for this opportunity. This admirable destination attracts millions of tourist each year for its panoramic views of the city skyline and Port Phillip Bay, and soon it will offer yet another impressive reason to visit.
“A year and a half ago, Gillie and I traveled to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya to visit Sudan, as well as his daughter Najin, and granddaughter Fatu,” says Marc, “The experience shook us to the core, and we returned home vowing to dedicate the rest of our lives to protecting rhinos from extinction in the best way we know how – through our art.”
Gillie and Marc are recognized throughout Australia and the globe for their groundbreaking contemporary art, which spreads the message of love and conservation in iconic destinations around the world, including New York, London, Singapore, Shanghai, Sydney, and more. They’re best known for their beloved characters Rabbitwoman and Dogman, as well as their headline sweeping rhino art.
The Wonderful Two will be a LARGER-than-life, 5-meter long representation of Najin and Fatu, and for many, the most surprising sculpture ever seen.“The sculpture will depict Najin and Fatu connected in the middle, with their heads facing opposite directions. Both rhinos are trying to pull each other the opposite way to safety. It seems their fate is stuck in place and time with only two left on earth, and no simple direction to freedom,” explains Gillie. “Through the sculpture, we want audiences to understand that, while Najin and Fatu have stuck together in their fight to survive, they are intertwined by the plight of all rhinos and unless humanity steps up to help, they will remain in this place forever,” adds Marc.
Already, the project has been stirring a buzz of anticipation. Proceeds from its installation will go directly to Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya, home of Najin and Fatu. As the only two of their kind in existence, Najin and Fatu are the most precious animals on earth.
“We want The Wonderful Two to celebrate all of the amazing people and organizations that drive positive change in wildlife conservation,” says Gillie, “However, our goal is also to continue the conversation that was started with The Last Three, and inspire generations to join the battle for rhino conservation.”
The sculpture is set to be aligned with the hashtag #LoveTheLast. Visitors will be asked to take a photo with the artwork and share it with the hashtag, jump starting efforts to spread critical awareness. Signage will also educate, and direct the public to a donations page set-up for Najin and Fatu, so they can live out their much-deserved final days in peace at Ol Pejeta Conservancy.
WHERE: Republica St. Kilda Sea Baths (foreshore)
Republica is an iconic Melbourne bar and restaurant that sits at the heart of St Kilda and is designed to service locals and visitors in an informal, relaxed setting befitting its St Kilda Beach location. Experience uninterrupted views whilst you dine, or simply lounge beachside and sip on a cocktail. This unique setting of beach culture invites you get the sand between your toes or soak up the vibe in the grassy courtyard. This stylish restaurant boasts a beachfront setting, a bar overlooking the water, central open fireplaces and indoor-outdoor dining areas offering dazzling views of Port Phillip Bay. Republica has 3 function spaces the private dining room, lounge and courtyard veranda which can cater for both cocktail and seated events. Republica, is owned by a local family who wants to make a positive difference to the local and global environment. They believe that we can live in harmony with our natural world and their support of the ‘The Last Two’ is an important showcase of the fragility of nature.
Ol Pejeta is home to two of the world’s last remaining northern white rhinos, and a sanctuary for over 110 critically endangered black rhinos. We work to conserve wildlife, provide a sanctuary for great apes, and to generate income through wildlife tourism and complementary enterprise for reinvestment in conservation and communities. Ol Pejeta partners with international wildlife, security and research specialists to ensure we stay at the forefront of conservation innovation. These partnerships have led to unique data findings and cutting-edge technology; that have contributed to the protection of Ol Pejeta’s diverse species.
The St Kilda Sea Baths are the stunning venue and location of The Wonderful Two! St Kilda Sea Baths houses an indoor saltwater pool, Health Club, Kite Boarding, Stand Up Paddle Boarding (SUP) and an array of bars, cafes and restaurants. Located on Melbourne’s most high profile beach, it is central to Melbourne’s bayside lifestyle. It is well-known as a supporter and educator of the marine environment and the impact of litter on the world’s oceans. St Kilda Sea Baths is located on Melbourne's premier beach front and overlooks the idyllic and picturesque St Kilda Beach, St Kilda Pier and Port Phillip Bay. There is nothing else like it in Australia. With a history dating back to middle of the 19th Century, this Melbourne institution continues to define the ultimate bayside lifestyle. It is their view that ‘The Last Two’ is a topical example of the massive impacts humankind is having on our flora and fauna. It shines a bright light on how we must all work together to minimise our impact on the planet. www.seabaths.com.au
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