Kingston Upon Thames has officially welcomed 10 chimp sculptures from the hugely successful ‘Chimps Are Family’ exhibition which was previously at London Bridge.
The exhibition arrived on January 27 and will be on display for the next six months.
It has been created by established artists Gillie and Marc in conjunction with Kingston First, the town’s business improvement initiative.
The instillation includes 10 out of the original 18 chimps and is designed to be an interactive experience for residents.
The artists want to encourage everyone to get close, touching the chimps’ faces, examining their hands, and giving them a hug.
The work is designed to encourage the conservation of the animals with the hope of inspiring love and connection.
It showcases the chimps taking part in common activities such as playing and using tools, as well as expressing the emotions of love, laughter, and grief.
They represent real behaviours and provide a snapshot of a world that most people never get to experience.
The sculptures are based on real animals that the artists Gillie and Marc met while studying in the wild.
Each chimp also has its own QR code, which you can scan to reveal information about the work needed to protect these wonderful animals.
Working with WWF, the artists hope that by putting wildlife front and centre in major cities the public will see the animals as something worth protecting.
The QR code also gives the option to donate funds that goes directly to save chimpanzees.
Gillie, who was born in Kingston and spent her early years in the town, said: “The exhibit is very close to my heart.”