EXHIBITION: Christmas with Gillie and Marc!

Exhibition: Christmas with Gillie and Marc!

Christmas with Gillie and Marc is your opportunity to spread some festive joy! 

Showcasing an entertaining and lively collection of art by “the worlds most loving artists”, our Christmas exhibition offers an impressive array of original paintings, framed limited edition prints, and beautiful bronze sculptures by the world-famous artistic duo.

As a special feature of this year’s exhibition we are also delighted to include a limited edition print of Auckland! 

We are also pleased to be supporting Gillie and Marc’s “Chimps are Family” project, by donating part of the sale proceeds of their beautiful bronze chimp sculptures. You can read more about this wonderful project below.

Pop into the gallery this Christmas to enjoy this festive exhibition, or share some fun and joy by gifting a unique art work by our award-winning artists!

View the exhibition online here.

Christmas with Gillie and Marc is open from Friday 10 - Thursday 30 December.


About the "Chimps are Family" Project

Donations from the sale of the Chimp art works in the Gallery's Christmas exhibition will go directly towards supporting this project.     

​Gillie and Marc were lucky enough to meet the babies of three of the great ape species, chimps, orangutans and gorillas, in the wild and they were surprised how similar they really are to us. These sweet little babies were just as cheeky as human babies and were very attached to their mums. Gillie and Marc could see them grasp onto things, the same way that human babies do, testament to our evolutionary past. We also noticed that the hands of gorilla are very similar to human hands, a beautiful reminder that even physically, we are still from the same family.

The chimpanzee is our closest living relative, sharing about 99 % of our DNA. It’s even thought that we have a common ancestor who lived sometime between 7-13 million years ago! Through research of we have been able to see some of the magical similarities between us and chimpanzees. We all have our own unique personalities, are incredibly social, can learn basic sign-language, and, most importantly use and make tools.  But despite this amazing connection, humans are the biggest threats to our cousins.

Chimpanzees are now endangered because of our actions. Because of major increases in human populations, miles and miles of their habitat is being destroyed, clearing space for city expansion, agriculture, roads, logging, and mining. This is making it harder and harder for the chimps to survive, forcing them to live in smaller and smaller spaces and putting a major strain on food options. This issue over food, in particular, has led to human-chimpanzee conflict. In their desperation to find enough to eat, the chimps are forced to come to human settlements to steal food, mainly easy to grab things such as fruit, but when things are really tough, they have been known to take children. Families retaliate by killing the chimps to stop any other attacks. Chimps are also targeted by bushmeat hunters as they provide plenty of meat compared to other smaller animals. The hunters are also known to take the young in as their pets or sell them on the illegal pet trade, a lifestyle that is never suitable for a wild animal.

With DNA so similar to our own it is not surprising that chimpanzees are susceptible to many of the same diseases that we are. Since the 1980s, Ebola has been a major threat killing hundreds of thousands of chimpanzees. More recently it has been found that they are also susceptible to Covid-19, a threat that has, thankfully, not yet had a devastating effect for our cousins.

There is so much we can learn from chimpanzees which in return, will help to unveil many of the secrets of ourselves. But for this, we must protect them before it’s too late. We must make room in our world for our cousins to flourish. Because only when we learn to live together will we all truly thrive.

Now, 28 adorable chimps are coming to London! Expertly crafted in everlasting bronze, these beautiful primates that helped to change our understanding of our closest relatives, and even ourselves will now be brought to life in a monumental public art project for conservation, the most important wildlife sculpture on the planet.

For the first time ever all the behaviours of chimpanzees are brought to life like never before. Hugely confronting, it makes the public question who we are and our relationship to the wild, bringing the life of the jungle to the heart of London.

28 chimpanzees, each expertly crafted in everlasting bronze will showcase a different side of chimp-life. Each will display the real behaviour of chimpanzees giving a snapshot into their world which most people would never have been able to experience. The central sculpture will show a chimp using a tool to fish for termites. Discovering that chimps used tools changed the scientific understanding and the way humans saw the natural world. Surrounding this chimp will be the other vast range of behaviours, from nest making to grief.

The 28 will show the huge range of chimpanzee behaviours and cover all ages, from newborn to elderly. They will each show unique personalities with their own back story. The chimps will be waiting ready to invite people to sit beside them, offering a unique opportunity to get up close and personal with our closest relatives. This will be the only chance people will get to touch, feel, cuddle and get up close to a chimp and see how similar they are to us.

For the past 30 years, Gillie and Marc have studied chimpanzees in Africa. Gillie was born in Africa and spent her childhood sketching the animals she saw while Marc travelled to Africa in his 20’s to Gombe Stream. Since then, they have travelled to Africa many times to study the magnificent African wildlife. With the thousands of sketches and photographs they took on their travels, Gillie and Marc have brought to life our closest relatives based on the chimps they met.

Each of the chimps will be displayed with a QR code where the public can learn all about the individual chimpanzee. The public will be able to find important information surrounding conservation, spreading enthusiasm and action for the important work needed to protect the chimps.

This sculpture brings about the idea that it is possible for the world to live in togetherness with chimps. It is possible to share the world, rather than just claiming it as our own.

This sculpture invites the people of London to get up close with our closest relatives and fall in love. 

This is a unique form of conservation, creative awareness to encourage the love of wildlife with all donations going chimpanzee conservation.