A local charity with a growing reputation as the leading arts centre in the South West has welcomed two gorillas from The Great Gorillas Project.
Francis and Lilo have taken pride of place within the quad at Hannahs at Seale-Hayne and will be providing a warm welcome to the charity’s visitors until the end of February.
The gorillas are part of a public art event that took place on the streets, parks and open spaces of the English Riviera and Exeter in the summer.
For 10 weeks, 30 life-size gorilla sculptures inhabited the streets, parks and open spaces showcasing the wealth of artistic talent in the area, while highlighting the significant conservation threat facing wild gorillas and how the local business community can make a difference. In addition, 23 of their smaller cousins designed and decorated by schools in Devon and Somerset were located in local businesses in the region. The Great Gorillas then visited Paignton Zoo in October before being auctioned for charity in November.
Lilo is the gorilla that features every beach toy and inflatable imaginable to make it the most colourful and huggable gorilla possible. It was designed by Bristol based artist Damien Jeffery, who has been designing mural painting projects for schools and businesses for the last five years. Lilo is owned by Torbay Council and Paignton Zoo who have kindly lent him to Hannahs until the end of February.
Francis was designed by Yonyonson and is owned by Francis Clark Chartered Accountants and has been touring the Francis Clark offices and taking part in local events.
Hannahs Creative and Cultural Development Officer, Anna Gilroy, said “We are delighted to welcome the gorillas to Hannahs and are really grateful to all the sponsors for lending them to us. They seem to like their new home and are already proving a huge hit with our visitors and guests. We would also like to thank Hewdens who installed the gorillas. Over the last 12 months alone we have welcomed art work from the likes of Banksy and Matisse and the gorillas are the icing on the cake for us.
Everyone is welcome at Seale-Hayne. We are open 7 days a week with free entry and those visiting the gorillas can also relax in our bistro, peruse our shops or perhaps take advantage of our health and wellbeing centre with all proceeds going back to the charity”.