Durrell’s magnificent troop of Go Wild Gorillas sculptures went under the hammer and raised an incredible ‘Gorilla Grand Total’ of £1,146,500, which will go towards the build of a brand new, state-of-the-art indoor enclosure for Jersey Zoo’s beloved gorilla family.
At this spectacular event, hosted by Go Wild Gorillas Official Suppliers The Royal Yacht and Delta Events, a total of 40 silverback sculptures, three young gorilla sculptures and one mystery silverback were auctioned off, kickstarting the fundraising for the £5million gorilla house. TV celebrity, charity auctioneer and antiques expert Charles Hanson kept the crowd hooked throughout the entire evening with some exciting bidding wars.
Dr Lesley Dickie, Chief Executive of Durrell, said:
“The Grand Gorilla Auction was an absolutely incredible evening that far exceeded our expectations. With a fantastic first bid of £20,000 setting the tone for the night, there was certainly a buzz in the room and we are overwhelmed by the generosity of our amazing bidders. I’d like to thank the hugely talented artists who designed the gorillas, our dedicated sponsors, all the schools and community groups, and the Go Wild Gorillas team from Durrell that helped to bring this sculpture trail to life. It has been wonderful to see the entire island get behind this exciting project and enjoy a glorious summer of gorillas!”
Popular silverback ‘The Space Between Us’ by local artist Andy Coutanche, aka Jersey Sandman, raised the roof when it was sold for a record-breaking £72,000, the highest figure a sculpture from a Wild in Art trail has ever sold for. The second-highest bid of the night was on Cliff Wright’s ‘What, On Earth…?’ gorilla, which sold for an amazing £62,000.
Charlie Langhorne, Co-founder and Managing Director of Wild in Art, said:
“It was a phenomenal auction to conclude an extraordinary art trail. A massive thank you to the talented artists, without whom this would not have been possible. And of course, our auctioneer, Charles Hanson for his endless energy and charisma. Finally, a heartfelt congratulations to the team at Durrell for all their hard work and professionalism. We’ve loved every minute of our adventure together bringing Go Wild Gorillas to life and supporting their important conservation work.”
For their support at the Grand Gorilla Auction, huge thanks must go to The Royal Yacht, Delta Events, auctioneer Charles Hanson, Bidpath auction software, Presenting Partner Quilter Cheviot, Wild in Art, and Durrell staff and volunteers.
The overall success of the Go Wild Gorillas project would not have been achievable without the hard work and dedication of so many people. Special thanks to Wild in Art for their support and guidance throughout the whole project, and Quilter Cheviot for having faith in the project from the very beginning and signing on as Presenting Partner.
Tim Childe, Quilter Cheviot’s Head of International & Jersey Office, said:
“Go Wild Gorillas was a great initiative to get people from across Jersey involved in Durrell’s work. This art trail was all about making people smile and engaging them with the project, and it has done just that and more. I hope it will inspire people to get into conservation and continue raising funds for a very worthy cause. The project fits in with our own values; creating a legacy is very important to us, whether that’s natural wealth in the form of protecting our environment, or sustaining the prosperity of our clients across generations.”
Huge thanks to all of the other fantastic sponsors who have been thoroughly engaged with the project, in particular, Community Partner Citi and Media Partner Bailiwick Express. The Channel Islands’ largest public art trail would not have been brought to life so wonderfully if it wasn’t for the extraordinary talent of the local and international artists involved, whose beautiful designs captured the hearts of the entire island.
Thank you to the local schools and community groups that got involved in the trail by adopting and fundraising for their young gorillas, which were all decorated so creatively. Finally, a huge thank you to the Jersey public and visitors to the island who got out and about to explore the trail and discover the wonders this little Channel Island has to offer!