Record-breaking send off for Go Wild Gorillas

On Wednesday 6th November, 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 £4-5 million gorilla house. TV celebrity, charity auctioneer and antique 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 individuals, organisations, schools, and community groups. Special thanks to Quilter Cheviot, who had faith in the project from the very beginning, 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.”

Thank you to Wild in Art for their support and guidance throughout the whole project, and to all of the fantastic sponsors, in particular Community Partner Citi, Media Partner Bailiwick Express and Official Suppliers Channel 103, Delta Events, Jane James Ceramics, Paul Davis Freight, Rok Construction, Ronez, and The Royal Yacht. There are so many more sponsors who have been thoroughly engaged with the project, including Affinity, bhp, Canaccord Genuity, Cazenove Capital, Cooper & Co., de Gruchy, Deloitte, the Durrell Gardiens, Equiom, Estera, Girlguiding Jersey, HealthHaus, Investec, Jersey Pearl, Jersey Post, Liberation Group, Marketing Bureau, Mourant, Parish of St. Helier, pwc, Rathbones, Ravenscroft, RBC, Rubis, Santander International, Sure, the Atlantic Hotel, TrustFord Jersey, Valla, and Visit Jersey. Thank you to Albert Bartlett for giving the troop a temporary home, where they were painted and pampered before heading off to the auction.

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. The marvellous troop of Go Wild Gorillas artists included Will Bertram, Graham Bannister, Amy Bourbon, Anne-Marie Byrne, Lois Cordelia, Andy Coutanche, Marcus Davies, Sian Ellis, Lucy Fleming, Mike Harris, Lena Kibbler, Alastair Knowles-Lenoir, Louise Le Luyer, Francesca Monticelli, Donna Newman, Oli Nightingale, Abi Overland, Caroline Parrott, Adam Pekr, Jessica Perrin, Lauren Radley, Ben Robertson, Kenneth Rocafort, Nick Romeril, Andrew Routh, Stuart Semple, MrASingh, Kelly Stanford, Gabriella Street, Tim Sutcliffe, Maria Tarrant, Peter Thompson, Sue Webber, Oliver Winconek, Cliff Wright, and Marta Zubieta.

Thank you to Jersey’s young people who got involved in the trail by adopting and fundraising for their young gorillas, which were all decorated so creatively by local schools and community groups, including Beaulieu School, D’Auvergne Primary School, FCJ Primary School, First Tower Primary School, Grand Vaux School, Grouville Primary School, Highlands College Life Skills, Highlands College School of Art, Jersey College for Girls, Jersey College Prep, Les lands Primary School, Le Rocquier School, Mont Nicole Primary School, Samares School, Springfield Primary School, St Christopher’s School, St Clement’s Primary School, St George’s Preparatory School, St Martin’s Primary School, St Michael’s Preparatory School, St Peter’s Primary School, Jersey Alzheimer’s Association, Acorn, Beresford Street Kitchen, Brighter Futures, Cheeky Monkeys at Durrell, Citi, Durrell volunteers, Enable Jersey, EyeCan, Headway Jersey, Healing Waves, Jersey Mencap, St Lawrence Youth Project, Stroke Association, Youth Arts Jersey, and Youthful Minds.

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!

Lot 1 - Ding Dong - £20,000 Lot 2 - Indigo Batik - £14,000 Lot 3 - The Island Break - £18,000 Lot 4 - A Bobby-Dazzler - £15,000 Lot 5 - Space Ape - £17,000 Lot 6 - Gorilla 54 - £16,000 Lot 7 - I-Spy Gorilla - £20,000 Lot 8 - Jersey Boy - £25,000 Lot 9 - Gorilla In The Mist - £21,500 Lot 10 - Creative Vibes - £21,000 Lot 11 - Dream Signing - £18,000 Lot 12 - Ape-Iary - £32,000 Lot 13 - The Spirit Guide - £26,000 Lot 14 - Gloria - £20,000 Lot 15 - Dia de la Extincion - £18,000 Lot 16 - Zeus - £54,000 Lot 17 - Symbiosis - £15,000 Lot 18 - That Elusive Dodo - £22,000 Lot 19 - True Colours - £23,000 Lot 20 - Jambo Sana - £30,000 Lot 21 - Dynamic Hero - £33,000 Lot 22 - The Space Between Us - £72,000 Lot 23 - We Are All Connected - £20,000 Lot 24 - Monkey Business - £19,000 Lot 25 - Gorillas and Penguins Should Never Meet - £32,000 Lot 26 - King (Hong) Kong - £17,000 Lot 27 - Protect What Is Precious - £16,000 Lot 28 - Our Island - £27,000 Lot 29 - Groovy Gorilla - £26,000 Lot 30 - Seasc'Ape - £26,000 Lot 31 - Blue Jungle - £29,000 Lot 32 - Kong Of The Savannah - £21,000 Lot 33 - The Plastic Ocean - £16,000 Lot 34 - Be Who You Really Are - £23,000 Lot 35 - Rotchi - £41,000 Lot 36 - Florilla - £24,000 Lot 37 - Forest Guardian - £30,000 Lot 38 - Jungle Banana Split - £19,000 Lot 39 - Long John Silverback - £22,000 Lot 40 - Relic - £32,000 Lot 41 - Jer-Sea - £25,000 Lot 42 - What, on Earth...? - £62,000 Lot 43 - Gerald Durrell - £36,000 Lot 44 - The Mystery Gorilla - £33,000