It feels like the world has sort of been conspiring to get me to investigate Gillie and Marc’s sculptures since I posted about the 2012 Sculpture by the Sea exhibition and their entry for this year held pole position. Just in case you need a nudge to remember it, here it is…
So, I saw the Travellers and posted its image, then received lots of comments about the work AND then, LM and I went to Paddington for lunch over the weekend and drove past ‘It Takes Two’ (top). I went for a wee ferret and this is what I learned about the artists…
As husband and wife, Gillie and Marc Schattner collaborate to create art as one, applying the now iconic imagery of the dog/human hybrid to celebrate the powerful spiritual relationship that exists between man and animal. So far so god, me-thinks!
Gillie and Marc reference their own love story in their works, perpetuating a pursuit of happiness and encouraging us to challenge the status quo and the perceived safety of societal convention. They say their love is the cornerstone of what they are and of what they create.
They apparently met in Hong Kong. According to their bio, “She was a nurse from England and he, a boy from the ‘burbs’ of Melbourne. They wanted only to find a soul-mate with which to share their passions for art, travel and adventure, seven days later they were married at the foothills of Mount Everest. They not only share an unsurpassed dedication to their art but also love for their two children, whom Gillie describes as their ‘best friends’ – along with their mutt, Moby, of course.” Have to admit, just the weeniest bit schmaltzy for this cynical Kiwi, but I do kinda’ like their kooky animal hybrids… (LM always accuses me of anthropomorphising Bella.)
Initially, Gillie and Marc painted and designed, but they have now become very interested in sculpture. They produce sculptures in a variety of mediums including bronze, brass, steel, wood, fibreglass and polyresin.
In 2006 they were Archibald Prize finalists. Their ‘He’ll never be famous but he doesn’t give a damn, he’s a musician’ painting (below), earned them first prize at the 2009 Chianciano Biennale, set in Tuscany. This work features a Dalmatian dog/man hybrid, playing guitar.
Their life-like fibreglass sculptural piece, Bondi Coffee Dog, appeared in the Florence Biennale in the same year. Stretching controversy further is their work, If Jesus was alive today he would be a skateboarder, which featured in the inaugural 2009 Blake Prize Director’s Cut, an online exhibition.
And, if that’s not enough, Gillie and Marc have been commissioned by a number of zoos in Australia and New Zealand to create sculptural works. Their latest can be seen below…
Crikey means gee whiz, wow! (Steve Irwin)
If you’d like to see more of Gillie and Marc’s work, check out their website here.