Bidpath Empowers £1.1M Auction in Support of the Go Wild Gorillas Campaign
The Go Wild Gorilla’s trail was a collaborative partnership launched in 2019 between the Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust and Wild in Art, to celebrate Durrell’s 60th anniversary. In total, 44 hand painted gorillas formed an exciting world-class sculpture trail around Jersey which culminated in an auction fundraiser held by the charity in which every one of the 44 items were sold to generous supporters of the cause.
Local and international artists were invited to submit designs for the brightly coloured, artist imagined, life size gorilla sculptures to raise awareness of the plight of gorillas in the wild who have pushed to the brink of extinction due to habitat loss, hunting, wildlife trade and the spread of infectious disease. Jersey Zoo has been home to this endangered species for 60 years, successfully breeding them and training conservationists to protect these gentle giants.
Among the highlights of the evening were Lots 22 and 42, the two highest grossing pieces which were sold for a staggering £72,000 and £62,000 respectively. Lot 72, entitled ‘The Space Between Us’ was created by local artist Andy Coutanche, who is best known for creating large scale beach artwork both in Jersey and internationally. The inspiration for the piece came from negative space conceptual sculpture, a way of injecting a piece of the real world into the creation, allowing the piece to continually change and the viewer to fill in the missing pieces.
Lot 42, ‘What, On Earth?’ was created by internationally acclaimed artist and illustrator, Cliff Wright, who is most famously known for creating artwork for the original Harry Potter book covers, as well as his collaborative work with Gerald Durrell. His design proudly depicts a frieze of animals, each animal leading the next and being led to the rising sun by a human. Wright wanted to show that we are all connected and it's our responsibility to look after our fellow beings.
Celebrity auctioneer, Charles Hanson, spent four hours on the rostrum engaging bidders in the room and those online who were empowered to participate in the auction from all over the world using Bidpath’s best in class technology.
After the auction Charles commented: ‘It is always a great honour to be asked to support exceptional causes and the Go Wild Gorilla’s auction was one of the most enjoyable of my career. It was truly humbling to see so many people willing to support such a magnificent cause, and to help to raise awareness of the plight of not just these magnificent creatures, but of so many other endangered species living in the wild. We were delighted to have the support of our online bidding partner Bidpath at the event. Bidpath support all of our charitable initiatives and make it possible for bidders who can’t attend the event to participate. It’s a fantastic service that opens these kinds of events up to a much wider audience.’
In a tweet following the auction, organisers said:
'WHAT A NIGHT!!
'We are THRILLED to announce that we raised a grand total of £1,146,500 at the Grand Gorilla Auction, which is beyond anything we could have hoped!!
'Thank you so much to everyone who has been involved with this project, you've all been amazing!'
‘The Space Between Us’
Artist Name: Andy Coutanche
Andy Coutanche is a local artist, best known for his large scale artworks on the beaches of Jersey and many other countries around the world including New Zealand, Maldives, Sri Lanka, Malaysia and Bermuda. Andy has been doing these for over 10 years and has caught the eye of the international media with his work featuring on BBC2 "Coast Programme", German RTE TV, The Queen's islands TV show Germany, Coast magazine, OK magazine, The Telegraph, Metro magazine and many other publications around the world. Andy is also a carpenter/joiner who has made sculptural work in wood, stone, glass, hight density foam, copper, willow and fibreglass. Andy has produced work in photography, light painting photography, painting, pen and ink.
The inspiration for The Space Between Us comes from negative space conceptual sculpture. It is a way of injecting a piece of the real world into the creation and allows the piece to continually change because the negative space helps define the boundries of the positive space and brings a balance to the composition. The fact that the viewer can interact in a completely different way to a solid form sculpture by becoming part of the piece, with the mind of the viewer filling in the missing pieces, creates a fun and unusual experience.
‘What on Earth?’
Artist Name: Cliff Wright
Cliff Wright has been a practising artist for 30 years. His Illustration work has featured in countless children's books, magazines, posters, greetings card designs and advertising projects. Most notably his artwork has accompanied two of the original Harry Potter book covers, and he was also honoured to work with Gerald Durrell who authored the well-known Andrex Puppy Books. Cliff has been teaching for over 20 years and founded a highly-regarded series of drawing-based workshops and courses under the name of Nature of Seeing. More recently he has been exploring a passion for sculpture and has just completed a commission which will feature as the cover to a high quality restoration of the classic film 'Death in Venice'.
This design proudly depicts a frieze of animals dancing on top of the globe, each animal leading the next. At the end of the frieze is a human being taking the animals to the rising sun. Cliff wanted to show that we are all connected and it's our responsibility to look after our fellow beings. He has featured a variety of species, some of which Jersey Zoo and Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust are working to save from extinction.
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