Cheeky Chimps

Wellington Zoo, New Zealand

When Wellington Zoo commissioned Gillie and Marc to create a sculpture they decided the ‘Chimp Lawn’ needed two chimps that the children could interact with. The Chimp Lawn is a picnic area that overlooks the chimpanzee enclosure and Wellington City. Unfortunately, people weren’t taking the time to enjoy this gorgeous, relaxing space. Instead, they just rushed by to the next exhibit.

Monkeys are a favorite among both the young and young at heart. As humans, we feel a kind of kinship with these creatures — it’s easy to relate to them while delighting in their playful, funny natures.

A natural response to something that intrigues us is to reach out and touch them in order to feel close and connected. “It’s almost impossible to love something without touching it,” Marc explains. “These sculptures allow for this.” Since the installation of Cheeky Chimps, children spend more time playing with the bronze chimps than they do watching their real-life counterparts. The Chimp Lawn has become a much-loved and well populated picnic spot.