Covent Garden and Tusk announce the launch of the Tusk Gorilla Trail at Covent Garden, with the neighbourhood welcoming 15 individually designed life-sized gorilla sculptures across its historic streets.
Covent Garden and Tusk are announcing the launch of the Tusk Gorilla Trail at Covent Garden, a new immersive art installation in the heart of historic central London, live from 14th July in support of African wildlife conservation.
Following the huge success and popularity of the Tusk Rhino Trail in 2018 and the Tusk Lion Trail in 2021, the charity will place 15 life-sized gorilla sculptures throughout the historic Piazza and streets of London’s Covent Garden, including Seven Dials. The artworks will be on display for the public to enjoy from Friday 14th July until October.
Curator Chris Westbrook, from Westbrook Gallery, has brought together an array of talented artists from the world of art, design, film, photography and comedy including several Tusk ambassadors, to release a band of individually designed gorillas across the Covent Garden estate including Seven Dials.
Internationally recognised artists designing gorillas include The Rolling Stones guitarist and Tusk ambassador Ronnie Wood and wife Sally Wood; English actor and comedian John Cleese and wife Jen Cleese; British artist Chila Burman; British photographer Rankin; printmaker Adam Dant; Tusk ambassadors actress Jemma Powell and husband musician Jack Savoretti; restaurant Petersham Nurseries in partnership with British artist Hayden Keys; former army helicopter pilot, wildlife artist and Tusk ambassador Hannah Shergold as well as artists Barnaby Barford, Mr Jago, Gordon Cheung, Mauro Perucchetti, Charles Uzzell Edwards and Nick Gentry.
The population of African gorillas remains critically endangered across both Western and Eastern species. Each sculpture will highlight the beauty of gorillas, threats to their existence and the people and solutions working for their survival – raising awareness for conservation efforts across the African continent.
The installation will encourage visitors to follow the Gorilla Trail via an easy-to-use map, making a fun and interactive experience for families and all to enjoy throughout the Summer.
The discovery map can be downloaded or viewed digitally via the Covent Garden website. Visitors will be able to make donations to Tusk to support its conservation goals across Africa through the website and via QR codes on the sculptures.
The full list of artists, ambassadors and collaborators designing gorillas is:
1. Ronnie Wood
2. John & Jen Cleese
3. Chila Kumari Singh Burman
5. Sally Wood
6. Adam Dant
7. Hayden Kays x Petersham Nurseries
8. Hannah Shergold
9. Barnaby Barford
10. Mr Jago
11. Gordon Cheung
12. Jemma Powell & Jack Savoretti
13. Mauro Perucchetti
14. Nick Gentry
15. Charles Uzzell Edwards
Michelle McGrath, Executive Director at Shaftesbury Capital commented: “London is globally renowned as a city of culture and nowhere better represents this than the vibrant West End, where arts and culture are part of the fabric of the area. Shaftesbury Capital is a committed patron of the arts, and this new sculpture trail represents the latest commission of public art for the Covent Garden neighbourhood.
The historic streets have become a platform for each artist to highlight the important work that Tusk does to support African conservation and continue our mission to have a positive environmental impact. This installation will offer a one-of-a-kind experience for visitors to enjoy at Covent Garden throughout the Summer.”
Charlie Mayhew MBE, Chief Executive, Tusk commented: “Gorillas share 98.3% of their DNA with humans. They are our closest cousins after chimpanzees and bonobos. Yet humankind continues to poach them, degrade their habitat and contribute to the rapid warming of the planet we share.
We know art can be a vehicle for change and we’re proud to be working in partnership with some incredible artists and Shaftesbury Capital to present a trail in Covent Garden that should inspire and encourage people to act to protect not just gorillas but the natural world at large.”
Chris Westbrook, Founder, Creative Director and Curator of Westbrook Gallery commented “For over 20 years we have brought artists and important conservation causes together to create meaningful experiences for the public to interact with. Harnessing the emotional and communicative power of Art is the perfect vehicle to raise awareness and create positive change across the widest of audiences.
To encounter any one of these incredible gorilla sculptures with the beautiful backdrop of Covent Garden will be a stunning and thought-provoking experience. I am immensely proud to be collaborating with Shaftesbury Capital to raise awareness of Tusk’s vital conservation work to ensure the survival of these magnificent animals for future generations.”
Following the interactive sculpture trail, the unique works of art will be auctioned and there will also be a public viewing exhibition of the 15 sculptures – more information to follow.
In 2021, Tusk raised £1.1m with its Lion Trail and is hoping to surpass this total. Funds raised at the auction and through public donations will support all Tusk’s partner projects, including those involved in the conservation of gorillas.
Pickfords, the UK’s leading name in home moving and storage, will be proud sponsors of the Tusk Gorilla Trail at Covent Garden, transporting all sculptures safely to their retrospective spots throughout the historic Piazza and streets of London’s Covent Garden and Seven Dials.
Visitors can discover the very best brands across Covent Garden’s cobbled streets including Apple, Bucherer, Chanel, Charlotte Tilbury, Ganni, Glossier, Jo Malone London, Kick Game, Le Labo, Mulberry, Paul Smith, Polo Ralph Lauren and Reformation as well as al fresco delights, with over 1,300 seats at over 75 al fresco dining terraces in some of the area’s most loved restaurants, including Ave Mario, Frenchie, Monmouth Coffee, The Oystermen, SUSHISAMBA, Sticks ‘n’ Sushi, and more.
More information about the Tusk Gorilla Trail at Covent Garden can be found here: www.coventgarden.london