After painting a UooUoo in the winter of 2020 and being worried the pandemic would mean it, along with the other 99 painted by other artists, couldn’t go on public display, it’s amazing to see them out on the streets of Melbourne. Together they create an art trail as part of the celebrations for the Royal Children’s Hospital 150th anniversary.
It’s nice to see the one I painted, Spring Wattle, out on Southbank near the banks of the Yarra River. It has two UooUoo friends and lots of people walking past to keep it company. It’s placed in an oasis of gum trees and seems very comfortable and happy. I look forward to sitting with it one cool summer evening with an ice cream as the sun sets and watching the lights of the city come on.
The first few days of the UooUoo art trail have reminded me how much of my art activities are motivated by people, even though I never depict people in my work. After a work goes on public display there can be a magical few seconds where somebody comes across it and their face lights up with joy at what they have discovered. I know this is happening right now somewhere in Melbourne or Geelong as somebody makes a connection with one of the 100 UooUoo.
I’m particularly enjoying looking at Instagram and Facebook where people are posting photos of the statues along with words of enthusiasm (search hashtags #uoouoo and #meanduoouoo). Some are posing with the UooUoo, looking delighted at coming across something bright, colourful and a little bit ridiculous. Many have downloaded the app and are walking around collecting the UooUoo like they are Pokemon.
It will be fun to keep an eye on the art trail for the next few months until it wraps up in March.
I wrote about painting UooUoo in 2020. See the post here.