What you may ask is a UooUoo (pronounced you-you)? Well it’s an imaginary creature created by award-winning Melbourne artist Alexander Knox, whose shape is loosely drawn from the wombat and dugong, both Australian native animals.
Like many Art Trails featured around the world, a sculpture of an animal or in this case an imaginary creature, form a central part in charity fund raising, with the added bonus of bringing art and fun to a city.
Corporations, businesses and philanthropists unite to fund selected artists to paint or decorate the sculptures, which are displayed around a city. Adults and children alike can then go on an adventure to find them all. Finally the sculptures are auctioned off to the highest bidder – funding important medical research or much needed monies in saving an endangered species.
In my travels I have seen fabulous Buddy Bears in Berlin, Owls in Bath and Rhinos in London, which I have featured in previous posts:
At the moment, there are 100 UooUoos scattered around Melbourne and Geelong finding a home in laneways, streets, parks and public spaces, bringing colour and creativity with a spectacular public art trail, in honour of the 150th anniversary of The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH) Melbourne.
RCH have teamed up with Wild in Art, who have been connecting businesses, artists and communities since 2008. Through the power of creativity, their events to date have enabled more than £15 million to be raised for charitable causes through auctions alone and helped millions of people of all ages to experience art in non-traditional settings.1
Caroline and I have already been out and about to spot a few.
Just one so far by me, right in the centre of the city.
Metruoo Photo by Jane
I snapped mine outside Flinders Street Station (above). Metruoo by Scott Stuart and sponsored by Peter and Sue Yates Foundation.
A celebration of the Melbourne experience; running after a tram arriving two minutes early, while you were waiting in line at your favourite coffee shop and now you’re chasing it, spilling that same coffee all over your clothes. 1
Caroline discovered her UooUoos not far from home.
Butterfly Garden by Nicole Bester and sponsored by Mullets for the Kids:
Inspired by nature. This UooUoo features the bright, bold colours of flowers together with Monarch butterflies and their bright, delicate orange wings. The butterflies in this UooUoo symbolise hope while the bright yellow flowers and warm colour palette hope to create a happy and welcoming feeling.
Hiatus by Caelene D’Arcy:
Depicts a peaceful floral design, painted with white-toned flowers native to Melbourne. Caelene often visualises a field of wild flowers when stressed or overcome by physical demands. This UooUoo represent ‘time out of life’ to reconnect with nature and our internal life-force, providing renewed strength and determination. Caelene wanted to create imagery for children affected by health difficulties, where they can imagine a day coyly playing in nature.
Rejuvenate by Kari Edwards:
A representation of the healing power of nature and the healing capacity that is within all of us. Given support, rest, and time we give the earth and ourselves the opportunity to restore and rejuvenate. It is through these actions that we come out stronger, wiser, and more united as a community.1
In the coming weeks the AnArt4Life team will be combing the streets for further sightings which we will share with you.
In the meantime here is a template of a UooUoo, bring out that artist streak and design your own personal interpretation.
Today we welcome two new subscribers in T.F. who comes from the Art Centre of Outback Australia - Broken Hill and C.S. in California, USA. We are delighted you have both joined our on-line community and hope you might be able to send us the latest news on what is happening in the local art scene of Broken Hill and California. Worlds apart but my guess is that we all have much in common - especially a love of all things art.
Don't forget how much we love to hear from our subscribers some of which you will meet in our monthly Mailbag.
1 Unless othewise stated all images and details uoouoo.org.au