The city of Dubbo is home to three stunning Black Rhino sculptures created by artists Gillie and Marc Schattner. The sculptures, unveiled at three locations, further link Taronga Western Plains Zoo with Dubbo, a city it has called home since 1977, acknowledging a proud shared history.
The sculptures were very much a labour of love for artists Gillie and Marc, who offered to create a work of art for the Zoo in memory of the Rhinos that passed away in Dubbo after a mystery illness in 2012. The Zoo then extended this very generous opportunity to Western Plains Regional Council (formerly Dubbo City Council), and as a result in April 2013 three Black Rhino mother and calf sculptures were unveiled; at the Visitor Information Centre, Dubbo City Regional Airport and the front of the Zoo.
The three installations, including landscaping and signage, not only link Dubbo and the Zoo, they highlight the plight of Rhino species in the wild. These sculptures help raise awareness of their plight and highlight the importance of conservation and breeding programs such as those located in Dubbo for Black Rhinos, White Rhinos and Greater One-horned Rhinos.
Artists Gillie and Marc Schattner have done an amazing job of capturing this iconic species in a very lifelike and natural way. Sydney-based artists Gillie and Marc Schattner are international award winning artists and Archibald Prize finalists. The three sculpture installations each fit an area measuring 4mx4m, with the Black Rhino mother measuring 1.4 m tall at the shoulder and 3m in length. The bronze installation at the Visitor Information Centre weighs over a tonne.
The artists used images of the Zoo’s Black Rhino mother and calf Bakhita and Kufara as inspiration for the sculptures. They made a steel frame or armature to support the clay mould, which was then developed, refined and cast in bronze.
Pictured below - Rhino Sculptures greet travellers at Dubbo Visitor Information Centre.