The Last Three
One of the most incredible and meaningful projects I've been involved with is The Last Three, the world’s largest rhino sculpture depicting the world's last three Northern White Rhinos.
The sculpture was installed at Astor Place in March 2018, heralding the launch of a global campaign to raise critical awareness about rhino conservation, spearheaded by the sculpture’s creators and internationally acclaimed artists, Gillie & Marc.
The stunning monumental bronze sculpture of the world’s last three Northern White rhinos, Sudan, Najim and Fatu, has been created to raise awareness of the rhino horn trades devastating impact, driving to extinction a species, which has roamed the planet for over one million years.
The journey of bringing the sculpture to Astor Place and my employer, the Village Alliance, becoming the global launch partner began with a late night Instagram chat with the artists in February 2017. I was in New York, the artists in Sydney, where they live and the sculpture was created.
Turning this late night chat into reality required a coalition of partners all playing critical roles, including the New York City Department of Transportation’s , Intrepid Travel, Inde, Nat Geo Wild, and the Ol Pejeta Conservancy in Kenya.
The husband-and-wife artistic duo, Gillie and Marc designed their iconic sculpture to enable the city populations to get close to the rhinos; to touch them; to experience their gentle personalities and appreciate their remarkable presence while they are still with us.
The artists intend for these experiences to inspire, educate, and mobilize the global community to raise their voices and affect real change against rhino horn sales. Everyone is invited to get up close and say their goodbyes to Sudan, Najim and Fatu.
The Goodbye Rhinos campaign, anchored by The Last Three, also aims to collect one million signatures and goodbye messages, putting them towards a petition to encourage world governments to take real action in eliminating the demand for rhino horns. The rhino horn trade is built on a false belief in their medicinal benefits. Rhino horns are worth more than gold and poaching has condemned the northern white rhinos to the brink of extinction.
One special feature of the Last Three experience is the Goodbye Rhinos app, an augmented reality platform on which users can watch live rhinos roaming Astor Place, take and share unique rhino photos using the hashtag #goodbyerhinos and leave a goodbye message.
The Last Three sculpture will be at Astor Place until May, 2018. For more information, visit the Goodbye Rhinos website.
The Last Three has been made possible through a partnership led the Village Alliance, with NYC DOT Art, Ol Pejeta Conservancy, Nat Geo WILD, INDE, Intrepid Travel, and The Thomas Collective.