Starting at Whole Foods in Richmond and finishing at The Turks Head in St. Margarets…
“Chimps Are Family” by Gillie and Marc
As Kingston groans under the weight of new high-rise buildings and the value of green space is measured by its development potential, this thought-provoking simian sculpture trail is a stark reminder that we are supposed to be sharing this planet.
“Chimps are Family” is a touring exhibition previously located at London Bridge and arriving in Kingston in January 20223 for a 6 month sojourn. Kingston is showing 10 of the 18 sculptures in the collection and the artists want people to get close, interact and connect. Each exhibit has a QR code for information plus details of how to donate directly to the chimpanzees’ preservation fund.
The sculptures are dotted between Kingston Station and the Riverside. Each one focuses on the similarities between us and these close cousins with whom we share around 98% of our DNA : Mwamba walks upright, Themba throws, Rachel Anne communicates and Ayo laughs with Ayokunle. Cast in bronze, the detail is astonishingly life-like but it’s the rich, dark finish that gives them a timeless, haunting relevance. The bronze could last for ever but these beautiful creatures may soon be part of the past and humanity probably won’t be far behind. The chimps are fun for kids and photos but take a moment to appreciate the real meaning behind this art. As we mindlessly push the natural world to the brink, these exquisite chimps, are giving us a monumental wake-up call..
The exhibition is the work of British and Australian artists Gillie and Marc known worldwide for their innovative public sculptures and paintings. Coming from very different backgrounds, they both share a profound love of wildlife and their art has raised many thousands in donations for wildlife charities.
See their website for more information about chimpanzees and the work of Gillie and Marc.