As creatives, the idea of love and the reason why we create goes hand in hand. Love for creativity, love as inspiration, love as the underlying force that drives us to create. In a world that can appear to be fuelled by hate, let’s look at love. Love and creativity.
Marc and Gillie are contemporary Sydney artists who work together as husband and wife. With two kids, a dog and cat, they have been making art for the last 20 years of their marriage. They have used their love for each other and their relationship to inspire their creativity.
Marc and Gillie are well known for their animal/human hybrids of Dogman and Rabbitgirl, figures used to tell the love story of Marc and Gillie.
“We’re inspired by relationships and love. Our characters represent an extreme odd couple, but their love conquers all. Of course, we are also inspired by animals, what we see around us, and by our own travels and adventures,” Marc said.
“You’ll notice that Dogman and Rabbitgirl are often travelling somewhere or going on an adventure. We love travelling and are always inspired by going somewhere new,” Gillie said.
They have forged a very successful creative career that has seen their work exhibited in New York, Italy and right across Australia, spreading the message of love and acceptance.
“Working together as husband and wife has changed the whole course of our art career. Our art is definitely autobiographical in many ways – Dogman and Rabbitgirls story is our own story,” Marc said.
“We design all our sculptures together and when we paint, we each start from opposite sides of the canvas and paint together.”
Before collaborating as husband and wife, Marc was in advertising as a creative and Gillie ran her own graphic design company and before that, an illustrator. They have been able to use their different skillsets in their work.
“When we work together it truly is collaborative, when we paint together we are literally working on the same canvas,” Gillie said.
“When we design sculptures together it is a constant back and forth until we get it absolutely perfect.”
Like many creatives, there is an underlying message that one wants to spread through their creative work. For Marc and Gillie it is about relationships and love.
“A lot of our work is about accepting the difference in someone else and truly embracing uniqueness and diversity,” Marc said.
“We love the idea that Dogman and Rabbitgirl are naked and they’re weird – you could even call them freaks – but they’ve been accepted and embraced all over the world.”
In the beginning, Marc and Gillie’s Hybrids were inspired by their travels to Egypt, fascinated by Egyptology and ancient culture, full of animal/human hybrids that made up their Gods.
Ancient Egyptians believed that by placing the head of an animal onto a human, the human might inherit some of the qualities of that animal become a better human.
“So we started out with the dog,” Gillie said. “We’re dog lovers and believe that lots of people might be better off if they could take on the characteristics of a dog – loyalty, unconditional love, playfulness.”
“As we’ve created more hybrids with different animals, the idea has grown and it has come to represent all the relationships in our lives.”
Marc and Gillie have been married and making art for 20 years. As artists and like all creatives, they have changed and developed their style as creativity has played a major part in their collaboration.
“When you’re a creative person it’s impossible to not be making something all the time, it’s your whole reason for being. Our art is autobiographical and therapeutic – there is absolutely nothing in the world we’d rather be doing,” Marc said.
“We also really do believe that creativity and art can make a difference in the world and bring together that ideal is really important to us,” Gillie said.
The themes they explore in their work and through their hybrid characters have developed to become more meaningful. But what hasn’t changed is the message they hope the audience will see in their work.
“Since our work is so much about relationships and love we really do hope that when people see our work they feel a sense of warmth and love from it,” Marc said.
“We get such a great satisfaction when we see our art in someone’s home or when someone tells us they love our pieces and that every time they see it, it makes them happy. It’s honestly the best part of our job,” Gillie said.
This year, you can see their work in the Kiss Me exhibition at Linton and Kay in Perth.
“It’s all about the power of the kiss and you’ll be able to see our hybrid characters expressing themselves through kisses,” Gillie said.
“The exhibition will be a Free Kissing Zone and we’re encouraging everyone to get into the spirit and share a kiss at the show.”
If you want to find out more about Marc and Gillie and their work, you can find them on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter or you can visit their website www.MarcandGillie.com
“We want this year to be all about taking our hybrids to new cities and countries,” Gillie said.
“We really believe art can make a difference in the world and our art is all about embracing diversity and uniqueness and finding the beauty in the difference of others.”
Next time you’re at Westfield in Bondi Junction taking a picture of Dogman and Rabbitgirl, give a thank you to Marc and Gillie for making you smile and share a kiss.