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Masses of Malis!
The 50 exciting elephant sculptures created for the Mali in the City public art project celebrating the Zoo’s 150th birthday are now on view at the Zoo.
Another 55 sculptures, delightful mini-Malis decorated in schools around Victoria, have joined the 50 life-sized Malis, making a magnificent display.
The herd of 105 magical Malis is now on view in the Zoo’s Carousel Park.
Zoo Director Kevin Tanner says ‘This is the chance for anyone who missed seeing some of the 50 Malis in their city locations to make sure they have seen all of them, with the bonus of seeing the 55 student Malis as well.’
Acclaimed author and artist Graeme Base is one of the creators of a life-sized Mali statue: his leopard-spotted sculpture entitled ‘Night and Day’ is the first sculpture visitors encounter when they enter the Carousel Park.
In an amazing coincidence, while Graeme was painting his Mali sculpture, he was also finishing work on his new book ‘Little Elephants’.
A group of lucky Zoo Member children won a place at the book launch this morning and heard Graeme read the book out loud for the first time.
Graeme has had a long association with Melbourne Zoo. He was an artist-in-residence soon after the 1986 publication of his first book, ‘Animalia’, which was inspired by many drawings he had done of Zoo animals.
‘Animalia’ has now achieved classic status worldwide. Graeme’s other books include ‘The Sign of the Seahorse’, ‘The Waterhole’, and ‘Jungle Drums’.
He is an Ambassador for the Australian Year of Reading 2012.
The life-sized Mali in the City sculptures will be on view at the Zoo until they are auctioned on October 25th to raise funds for conservation projects.
The student-decorated sculptures will be on display until October 15th and then be returned to the schools by project sponsor JetPets, which regularly moves animals between Melbourne Zoo and other zoos interstate and worldwide as required by breeding programs for each species.