Visiting the Love Last March sculpture at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is an engaging experience that offers a unique perspective on the urgency of wildlife conservation. Also known as the “Extinction March,” this outdoor art display is the world’s largest public sculpture, spanning an impressive length of 192 meters. Organized by artists Gillie and Marc in partnership with WWF-Singapore and supported by Gardens by the Bay, the exhibition aims to raise awareness about the consequences of human activities on wildlife.
World’s largest public sculpture
Situated near the Gardens by the Bay conservatories visitor center and Floral Clock, the sculpture follows a V-shaped pattern, with each animal placed behind the other, forming a continuous line. The sculptures are designed to be interactive, allowing you to scan QR codes and access informative web pages to learn about the threatened animals’ behavior, diets, and the reasons behind their endangerment.
Also, the presence of aquatic animals such as whales, a tiger shark, and a giant octopus may raise questions. Still, it serves to highlight the diverse range of species affected by human actions. This includes animals affected on both land and sea.
At the front of the march stands Elombe, the Eastern Lowland Gorilla, symbolizing the plight of endangered species. Each sculpture is based on real animals that Gillie and Marc have photographed and sketched over the years, ensuring accuracy in capturing the essence of each species.
As accomplished British and Australian artists, Gillie and Marc have gained recognition for their Rabbitwoman and Dogman characters. This embodies the tale of two opposites becoming best friends and soul mates. These two characters are an artistic impression of their creators.
Throughout the exhibition, you will encounter adorable sculptures, including a waddle of penguins interconnected by their flippers in a row as part of the chain.
A larger than life experience
Also, from observations, it’s worth noting that the sculptures are approximately 30% larger than the actual animals. For instance, the African elephants are on display are impressively larger than life-size.
Also, notably, the Sunda pangolins here are sized to a Giant pangolin too. That is about the size of a dog, that can’t be right! Still, it adds a sense of grandeur to the display, as well as a larger than life message.
However, despite being relatively new exhibit, some parts of the sculptures, such as faces and teeth, have already shown signs of wear due to visitor interaction. Also, considering the exhibit is going to be here for a year till May 2024, I do hope the bronze replicas can withstand the wear well.
An educational showcase
The overarching purpose of the Love Last March exhibition is to educate people about the consequences of human development and encourage conservation efforts. By showcasing a series of endangered or threatened animals on the brink of extinction, the exhibition emphasizes the importance of limiting deforestation, preserving green spaces, and promoting sustainable development practices.
For instance, I got to learn that the white rhino species has only two individuals left in the world and protected in captivity, stands out as the most endangered animal among the sculptures.
The sculptures are interconnected, with each animal’s head connecting to the rear of the animal in front, forming a continuous line that spans the entire length of the display. Despite each sculpture being an individual standing piece, the connection between them creates a sense of unity and solidarity.
Also, the exhibition encourages everyone to join the movement of re-wilding, emphasizing the need for collective action to make a positive impact on the environment and protect wildlife.
A spectacle by the gardens Dragonfly Lake
The journey through Love Last March concludes with a panoramic view of the garden’s Dragonfly Lake. Here, you will find the final sculptures- a giant octopus named Toakase and two giant pandas, Pau Pau and Peter Panda. In total, the visit to Love Last March typically takes around 30 minutes, providing a concise yet impactful experience.
To summarize, Love Last March at Gardens by the Bay in Singapore is a thought-provoking exhibition that showcases the world’s most endangered species. The sculptures, organized in a V-shaped zigzag pattern, serve as a call to action for wildlife conservation. ALso if you wish to take home a piece of the exhibit the WWF has merchandise on sale on their website, where 30% of the sale proceeds goes into WWF conservation efforts.
This is told through interactive elements and informative web pages, you can learn about each animal’s behavior and the threats they face. The exhibition highlights the need for collective effort in preserving biodiversity and promoting re-wilding. The display here at Gardens by the bay runs from 19 May 2023 – 18 May 2024.