Gillie and Marc have been called “the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York’s History” by the New York Times. Creating some of the world’s most innovative public sculptures, Gillie and Marc are re-defining what public art should be, spreading messages of love, equality, and conservation around the world. Their highly coveted sculptures and paintings can be seen in art galleries and public sites in over 250 cities. They’re Archibald Prize Finalists and have won the Chianciano Biennale in Italy, together with winning 2 years in a row People’s Choice Award in Sydney’s Sculpture by the Sea, among other notable awards and accolades.
Referred to by the media as “the world’s most loving artists”, this artistic duo has worked side by side for 27 years, creating art as one and spreading the love they have for each other with the world. The artists first met on a film shoot in Hong Kong and 7-days later they ran away to Nepal to get married on the foothills of Mount Everest. They’ve been inseparable ever since.
The artists are best known for their beloved characters, Rabbitwoman and Dogman, who tell the autobiographical tale of two opposites coming together to become best friends and soul mates. As unlikely animal kingdom companions, the Rabbit and the Dog stand for diversity and acceptance through love. Gillie and Marc believe art is a powerful platform for change. Their art is multi-disciplinary, paying homage to the importance of togetherness, as well as the magnificence of the natural world, and the necessity of preserving it – for we are it, and it is us.
Gillie and Marc have a special spiritual connection to the world and its animals and are passionate eco-warriors. Gillie grew up in Zambia and realised her love for art by sketching all the wonderful wildlife that surrounded her, falling in love with the captivating creatures with each drawing she created. Tragically, she saw an elephant brutally shot one day. This had a profound impact on her as a young child and from then on she vowed to dedicate her life and work to protecting Earth’s innocent animals. While in his twenties, Marc fell in love with conservation on a trip to Tanzania to see the work of Jane Goodall with chimpanzees. Learning from this incredible woman and the beautiful chimps, he gained a deep appreciation of all living things in their interconnectivity, and the importance of protecting the delicate balance of nature.
Finding an extra special place within the hearts of the artists are rhinos. This love affair began during a project memorialising a black rhino and her calf who mysteriously died in a Zoo in Dubbo. The artists were heartbroken by this tragedy and wanted to create an artwork that would not only remember the rhinos, but also raise awareness about conservation. This sparked a fire that led to the duo learning all the could about rhinos, trying to find a way to give a voice to the voiceless, and help people to understand the urgency for conservation of these beautiful animals. This led to the couple creating the largest rhino sculpture in the world for the famous ‘Sculpture by the Sea’, winning Australia’s coveted Allen’s People’s Choice and Kid’s Choice awards. A year later they bet their own record with the installation of The Last Three in New York City. At 17-feet tall, it’s now the tallest bronze rhino sculpture on the planet, and features the last three Northern White Rhinos, which have sadly now become two.
The Last Three is not just a powerful memorial and magnificent work of art; it’s also a catalyst for action. It is aligned with multiple initiatives aimed at spreading awareness, fuelling donations, and working with authoritative bodies to effect real change against poaching. Gillie and Marc used the trajectory of their sculpture’s installation to motivate petition signatures, which they used to put pressure on the government of Vietnam to eradicate rhino trafficking in their country. Through their art, Gillie and Marc aim to transform passive audiences into passionate advocates for rhino conservation. Their mission is to use their work as a platform to continue spreading awareness about endangerment, which will ultimately lead to change and save species from extinction.