'Rise up rhino' – Westfield London launches sculpture in celebration of Earth Day

'The 2,298kg bronze sculpture, which took two years to create by Australian artists Gillie and Marc, is a life-size replica of a full-size male Northern White Rhino.'

Westfield London, Europe’s largest shopping and leisure destination, today unveiled Gillie and Marc’s sculpture, entitled ‘rise up rhino’, which will take residence at Westfield, London, for six months before travelling to Westfield Stratford City for a further six months.

Launching on Earth Day, which continues to be a catalyst for ongoing education, action, and change, the 2,298kg bronze sculpture, which took two years to create by Australian artists Gillie and Marc, is a life-size replica of a full-size male Northern White Rhino and shows the endangered mammal flying through the air.

Demonstrating what must be done is ‘rabbit woman’ and ‘dogman’, the artists most iconic characters, that have travelled the world spreading messages of hope, acceptance, and love.

They invite the public to sit in the free spaces on either side of them to join in their mission to raise up the rhino and become rhino protectors.

There are only two Northern White Rhinos left in the world and a male white rhino can weigh up to four tonnes in real life, the equivalent of 50 humans.

The fully interactive sculpture will be on display on Westfield London’s Southern Terrace for the public to get up close and familiar with.

Gillie and Marc have been coined “the most successful and prolific creators of public art in New York’s history” by the New York Times.

The renowned artist and conservationist duo have been instrumental in redefining public art as a tool to reconnect people with nature and ultimately help transform society towards sustainability.

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, Australia.

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 they could about rhinos, trying to find a way to give a voice to the voiceless, and help people to understand the urgency for the conservation of these animals.

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.

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