Gorillas are going wild

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On Saturday 27th July, Jersey will wake up to 40 uniquely designed, life-size silverback gorilla sculptures, all individually placed across the island at iconic locations from Corbiere to Gorey to create the Channel Islands’ largest public art trail to date.

Go Wild Gorillas is a spectacular art trail organised by, and in aid of, Durrell in partnership with Wild in Art, consisting of 40 brightly-coloured, artist-imagined, life-size gorilla sculptures. These majestic and imaginative pieces of art have been uniquely created by artists, both local and international, to form a free sculpture trail that the whole community can enjoy this summer. The self-guided trail will lead people on a journey of discovery, not only to see the gorillas themselves but the nature in which they are placed.

Dr Lesley Dickie, CEO of Durrell commented on the launch of Go Wild Gorillas: “I am so excited and proud to bring this incredible art trail to Jersey to celebrate our 60th anniversary. We wanted to mark this special milestone with a project that involves the whole community and celebrates the beautiful island that has been home to Jersey Zoo and Durrell since 1959.”

Lesley continued: “Go Wild Gorillas combines art and conservation with the ultimate aim of raising funds to build a state-of-the-art gorilla house for our beloved family of western lowland gorillas at Jersey Zoo. The first mammal on our records, M1, was N’pongo, a young female gorilla, so it seems fitting to mark our 60th year with a gorilla themed project. As well as raising vital funds for the gorillas, this trail will also encourage people of all ages, both visitors and locals, to get outside and explore our beautiful island. As part of our ‘Rewild our World’ strategy, we want to reconnect one million people to nature and Go Wild Gorillas is the perfect way to get people outside enjoying nature.”

Charlie Langhorne, Co-founder and Managing Director at Wild in Art added: “It’s been a fantastic honour for our team to work alongside Durrell to help bring their Go Wild Gorillas art trail to life. We can’t wait to see the trail’s impact on Durrell’s conservation aims as well as its rewilding mission – we’re putting the ‘wild’ back into Wild in Art!”

From banks to coffee shops and law firms to hotels, each gorilla has been ‘adopted’ by a local business, who was inspired to be part of this bright and colourful initiative that will capture the imagination of Jersey’s residents and visitors this summer as well as raise funds for the gorillas at Jersey Zoo.

The team at Durrell is hugely grateful to all Go Wild Gorillas sponsors, as it would not have been possible without their support and special thanks must go to Presenting Partner Quilter Cheviot.

Commenting on Quilter Cheviot’s involvement, head of the Jersey office, Tim Childe said: “We’re thrilled to be the Presenting Partner of the Go Wild Gorillas art trail. The two gorillas we have adopted are beautifully designed by Nick Romeril and Cliff Wright and really symbolise the challenges we face trying to protect our planet and just how delicate it is. While at Quilter Cheviot our primary responsibility is to protect our clients’ assets, looking after the environment, and protecting these endangered species, should be an immediate priority for us all. We are therefore delighted to be involved in this.”

Click here for a full list of sponsors.

The 40 life-size silverback gorilla sculptures will join the 43 young gorilla sculptures that were created by schools, colleges, nurseries and community groups and have been on display in shop windows and indoor locations since the 9th of July. In addition, a further two young gorillas, created by artists and sponsored by a local business, will also go out on the trail on the 27th of July, making the total gorillas on the trail 85.

Residents and visitors can explore the sculpture trail using the Go Wild Gorillas printed map or the Go Wild Gorillas app, which will help them navigate the island, discover new places and unlock exciting rewards. When the trail ends, all 85 sculptures will appear at the ‘Goodbye Gorillas’ farewell weekend at Jersey Zoo from 1st – 4th November. This will give everyone the chance to take one last selfie before the gorillas go to their forever homes.

On 6th November the 40 silverbacks, plus two of the young gorillas, will then go under the hammer at the Grand Gorilla Auction at The Royal Yacht to raise funds for a new, state-of-the-art indoor home for the gorillas at Jersey Zoo.

Photos: Jersey Events