Cute animal videos were a lifesaver during the lost months of lockdown in the year that was 2020. Which is a huge part of why we love the latest public sculpture from world-famous artists Gillie and Marc. A gorgeous call to re-wild the world, ‘The Tower of Love’ depicts an adorable pile-on of endangered animals. Stacked up high in Central Park Mall, the bronze sculpture depicts a panda, a pair of northern white rhinos and a hippo, all balancing precariously on top of one another, along with an obligatory coffee cup, natch for us caffeine-lovers, a camera and a pear.
The husband-and-wife team, who met on the set of a movie in Hong Kong and fell head over heels in love, then married at the foothills of Mount Everest, have a long and enduring love of wildlife conservation. Marc, who grew up in Melbourne, spent a whack of his twenties working alongside Jane Goodall and her studies of chimpanzees in Tanzania. Gillie grew up in Zambia with wildlife on her doorstep. Their thought-provoking sculptural works stretch from Taronga Western Plains Zoo in Dubbo to Sydney Children’s Hospital, over to Melbourne and all around the world, including New York City.
The pair have dedicated their lives to raising awareness about the incredible animals we are at risk of losing. And, in a way, the temporary nature of this installation nods to that danger. It will only be with Sydneysiders for ten months, so make sure you get along and grab your Instagram moment before it disappears. “We wanted to create something really fun and would make us smile, something that would reflect our own hearts but also the truth of what life is for everyone,” says Marc, with Gillie adding that they are all about the tactile nature of public sculpture. “We believe that people have to physically touch wildlife to connect with it. Only when they care about it will they protect it.”