Did you go to Bristol and see the life-sized gorilla sculptures scattered throughout the city?
Well, that was the Wow! Gorillas in Bristol. The project aimed to increase awareness of the alarming extinction crisis that primates are facing in the wild. It was organised and sponsored by the Bristol Zoo in 2011 as part of their 175th-anniversary celebration, which recognised their long-standing commitment to saving primates in the wild. The zoo has successfully saved several gorillas and was currently caring for a group of six.
The Wow! Gorillas in Bristol was a huge success
Inspired by the “Land in Sicht” project created by artistic director Walter Knapp in Switzerland, which has inspired similar exhibitions in other cities worldwide, including the famous “CowParade“.
A total of 61 fibreglass gorilla sculptures were designed and decorated by various artists and businesses in Bristol, making each one unique and special. The sculptures were placed strategically throughout the city, creating a fun and interactive art exhibit for locals and visitors to enjoy. The Wow! Gorillas project was a huge success, not only in terms of bringing art to the streets but also in raising funds for gorilla conservation. At the end of the exhibit, the sculptures were auctioned off between July 6th to September 7th, 2011 and raised an impressive £427,300 for charity. This significant amount was donated to organisations dedicated to protecting primates and their habitats.
Raised awareness for gorilla conservation
Overall, the Wow! Gorillas project was a wonderful example of how art and community can come together to create something truly special. It brought joy to the people of Bristol, raised awareness for gorilla conservation, and showcased the creativity of local artists and businesses.
If you ever find yourself in Bristol, keep an eye out as some of the gorillas are still dotted around the city.