Wild times in children’s future city

There’s room for the animals in Hawthorn Arts Centre’s child-inspired artwork

Discover Wild City, a special community artwork developed by artist Kathy Holowko along with hundreds of Boroondara primary-school students.

Wild City is an imagined future world and explores ideas of how habitat and urban design can come together to welcome wild animals as citizens.

To create the artwork, 380 students from Auburn Primary School, Greythorn Primary School, Methodist Ladies’ College Junior School and Our Holy Redeemer Primary School were invited to take part in interactive workshops at Hawthorn Arts Centre.

At each school workshop, Kathy helped students envision a city where humans and wild animals could live together. The students were encouraged to work in small groups to add to the sculptural building blocks of a mini city, and to explore ideas of how we can welcome wild animals as citizens in our own urban environment.

Kathy describes Wild City as “a beautiful vision of the future through the eyes of children”.

The results spoke for themselves. Student Eve from Auburn Primary School said: “We’ve learnt that you can build habitats for animals within the city that you live in. We built a rooftop garden for possums,  a bridge for birds and a little garden on the ground for humans and animals.

“Who knows?” said Ciara. “Maybe one day we could actually build that in real life and we can make our place a better place for animals.”

Auburn Primary teacher Patrick said during the workshop: “In this room there could be future city planners, future animal lovers and zookeepers. So [this workshop is about] just understanding that there are lots of
ways that we can all live in this world together and that with [the children’s] help, we can design a nicer future for ourselves and for animals, too.”

And now it’s time to tour Boroondara’s Wild City for yourself. Come and enjoy the exhibition, on display at Hawthorn Arts Centre until Saturday 3 December. See opening times and more information on our Wild City event page.

miniature city built from found materials