A Rhino Sculpture Has Pedalled Into Toronto - With a Spare Seat for You!

Published May 2024

World-Renowned Artists Gillie and Marc Bring Captivating, Interactive Sculpture to Toronto's Entertainment District

TORONTO, May 24, 2024 /CNW/ - The Toronto Downtown West BIA, home to Toronto'sEntertainment District, is excited to announce the installation of a new bronze sculpture by the internationally acclaimed artistic duo Gillie and Marc Schattner, known as Gillie and Marc. Titled, He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place, this interactive and captivating piece will be prominently displayed in David Pecaut Square for the next year, with the goal of delivering messages of equality, acceptance, and conservation.

Described by the New York Times as "the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York's history," Gillie and Marc have transformed public spaces around the world with their thought-provoking works. This latest sculpture, created specifically for Toronto, is designed to invite interaction, allowing visitors to engage directly with the art.

He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place features Gillie and Marc's beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, along with a majestic northern white rhinoceros, riding a bicycle-built-for-four. The public is encouraged to hop on the fourth seat, and go on a whimsical journey with them.

"Our characters Rabbitwoman and Dogman are like our own reflections, blending humanity with the wild. They're out there, spreading the message of conservation, inspiring people to care for our planet and its creatures. It's heartwarming to see others connect with them, having fun while learning about wildlife," Marc shares.

Rabbitwoman and Dogman are symbols of diversity and acceptance, depicting the tale of two opposites becoming best friends and soul mates. The inclusion of the rhino spreads the important message of compassion for and the conservation of endangered animals.

"The unveiling of this sculpture marks a huge milestone for us, as it's a smaller version of our most popular exhibit, previously showcased in London and NYC," says Gillie. "We're excited to bring this beloved piece to Toronto and share its message of love and unity with the community."

The sculpture, measuring 4.81 x 1.3 x 2.22 metres and weighing 1422 kilograms adds to the artists' impressive portfolio of works seen in over 250 cities worldwide.

"Public art plays a crucial role in shaping the identity and vibrancy of a downtown area," says Janice Solomon, Executive Director, Toronto Downtown West BIA. "Gillie and Marc's sculpture helps to beautify the area, foster community engagement and enhance the economic vitality of the city. We are proud to have He Was on a Ride to a Safer Place join the other 70+ pieces of public art in our BIA."

Torontonians and visitors alike are invited to take up the spare seat at the rear of the sculpture for a photo opportunity, and engage with art that not only entertains, but also inspires meaningful conversations about our connection with wildlife. Use the hashtag #LoveTheLast and join the campaign for conversation.

The exhibition will be on display at David Pecaut Square at 215 King Street West until May 2025.