How the Wild About Babies sculptures ignite a passion for wildlife

Imagine standing amidst a captivating collection of bronze sculptures, each one representing an endangered species on the brink of survival.

On National Threatened Species Day, 7 September 2023, Perth Zoo became the proud new home for Wild About Babies, an extraordinary exhibition featuring 21 exquisite animal sculptures crafted by the talented artistic duo, Gillie and Marc.

These remarkable sculptures serve as ambassadors, sparking awareness, appreciation, and action for the preservation of threatened wildlife.

Meet Gillie and Marc

Photo of artists Gillie (left) and Marc (right) with their giant bronze sculpture of a gorilla.

Gillie and Marc, a passionate and dynamic husband-and-wife team, have mesmerized the world with their extraordinary creations and unwavering commitment to raising environmental awareness and fostering compassion.

Their artistic journey has taken them across the globe, showcasing their sculptures, paintings, and installations in prestigious galleries and public spaces. From Sydney to New York, London to Beijing, Gillie and Marc’s art has sparked conversations and touched the hearts of people from all walks of life.

Driven by their deep love for animals and concern for their well-being, they have harnessed the power of art to advocate for wildlife conservation.

Gillie and Marc envisioned Wild About Babies as a powerful medium to raise awareness about endangered species. Combining their artistic talents and passion for conservation, they created a stunning collection that they generously donated to Perth Zoo.

Cast in 2021, the sculptures symbolize the beauty, diversity, and fragility of our planet's endangered wildlife. By portraying these creatures as babies, on the threshold of a hopeful future, the sculptures evoke a stronger urge within us to safeguard their existence.

A Heart-warming Menagerie

Wild About Babies showcases 21 captivating sculptures, each representing a beloved yet endangered animal species. From the majestic Bengal Tiger to the gentle Sumatran Orangutan, the graceful Giraffe to the iconic Polar Bear, the exhibition invites us to reflect upon the future of these remarkable creatures.

The collection also includes sculptures of the African Elephant, White Rhino, Leopard, Giant Panda, Hippo, Cheetah, Grevy’s Zebra, Chimpanzee, Rock Wallaby, Arctic Fox, Lion, Indian Elephant, Javan Rhino, Giant Tortoise, and Marsican Brown Bear.

Each sculpture tells a story, embodying the plight of its real-life counterpart and highlighting the urgent need for conservation efforts.

“Wildlife is facing enormous challenges, such as climate change and poaching, making their fight for survival harder every day,” Gillie says.

“We are the reason for this. We have lived as though we were separated from the earth, as though it was a resource to be exploited. But it doesn’t have to be like that. We can also be the savior,” Marc says.

Their art serves as a powerful reminder of our responsibility to protect and preserve our planet's biodiversity.

A Proud New Home

Perth Zoo is honored to have received the generous donation of Wild About Babies from the artists through the Australian Government’s Cultural Gifts Program. Beyond its artistic value, this collection enhances the Zoo's role as a dedicated conservation organization.

While not all the sculptures represent animals currently living in the Zoo, there are meaningful connections between the sculptures and the Zoo's living animals and ongoing conservation efforts.

For instance, the orangutan baby sculpture symbolizes the Zoo's involvement in breeding critically endangered Sumatran Orangutans and protecting their natural habitat. Similarly, the baby Bengal Tiger sculpture links to the Zoo's Sumatran Tiger, Jaya, and the work being done to combat poaching.

Connections like these resonate throughout the exhibition, bridging the gap between art and real-world conservation initiatives.

Wild About Babies sculpture of a Marsican Brown Bear

The Power of Art to Inspire and Connect

Art has the unique ability to inspire and connect people, transcending boundaries and fostering empathy. Perth Zoo understands this power and endeavors to live by these values every day.

Wild About Babies stands as a testament to the transformative power of art and the urgency of wildlife conservation. Through their awe-inspiring sculptures, Gillie and Marc ignite awareness and compassion within us.

We invite you to visit the sculptures and immerse yourself in the wonders of wildlife conservation. Each sculpture carries a story, a message, and a call to action. By understanding their narratives and recognizing the importance of conservation, we can all play a significant role in protecting our planet's invaluable biodiversity.