No, your eyes are not deceiving you: there really is a giant chimpanzee currently sitting on Arts Centre Melbourne. 'David Greybeard' is a new, temporary sculpture was created by Lisa Roet to inspire thought on humanity's relationship with nature and to mark the 60th anniversary into Dr Jane Goodall's pioneering research into chimpanzees.
For those unfamiliar with Dr Goodall's work, she redefined how science perceived chimpanzees (and to a greater extent, all animals) starting with her observations on chimp behaviour. Prior to her research, it was thought that only humans were smart enough to use tools. Goodall, however, proved that chimps also used tools – a breakthrough made possible when a wild chimpanzee (which Goodall nicknamed David Greybeard) allowed her to observe his community.
The 9m by 12m sculpture has been constructed out of lightweight metallic material and put together by the Felipe Reynolds and the Airena inflatable art team right here in Williamstown. 'David Greybeard' will be perched serenely on the Arts Centre, overlooking the Yarra, until December 22. He will then embark on a world tour, spanning six countries across four continents, to spread the message of conservation.