If you happen to walk around the streets of Melbourne City you'll soon realise there's something a little different going on.
Scattered in various locations sit mysterious creatures. Often hidden from adults, these creatures are called UooUoo's and their job is to light up the children at the Royal Children's Hospital with their funky designs and bright colours (which they succeed at).
Created by award winning Melbourne artist Alexander Knox, the UooUoo (pronounced you-you) is an imaginary Aussie creature that takes its shape from the stubby wombat and majestic dugong, exhibiting playful, brave and empathetic behaviour towards others.
To keep smiles on children's faces for as long as possible, The Royal Children's Hospital has partnered with 100 talented Australian artists to execute an exciting and adventurous art trail that spans from the CBD to Geelong in honour of their 150th birthday.
Affectionately called 'The RCH150 Me and UooUoo Art Trail', this landmark fundraiser is running until the 21st March 2021 and encourages you to step outside, take in the weird and wonderful, and enjoy the little things in life that make us all a bit happier.
At the completion of the Art Trail, these 100 UooUoo's will be auctioned off with all proceeds going to the Royal Children's Hospital.
Where does Maxwell & Williams come into this you may ask?
Maxwell & Williams is proud to participate in this fundraiser and support the efforts of The Royal Children's Hospital, both now and in the future.
Following the success of their very own artist collaborations, Maxwell & Williams knows how important it is to come together in times of hardship, encouraging unity and offering joy wherever possible. This is why 6 of their own artist collaborators have designed a unique UooUoo to be found in parks, laneways, and streets along the trail.
These 6 uniquely designed UooUoo's will be available for sale in a smaller size, and in a fun mug and coaster set, with a portion of all proceeds donated to The Royal Children's Hospital.
Introducing the 'Me and UooUoo' range
UooUoo Name: I Love UooUoo
Location: Level 5 at Myer Melbourne
Inspired by making everyone smile, Donna's UooUoo was designed to uplift people and bring them a little bit of joy.
Describing her design as colourful and happy, this UooUoo encourages everyone to spread the love and transport people to a place of happy distraction.
UooUoo Name: Tulip
Location: Bourke St Mall, Melbourne CBD
Hoping to bring about a sense of positivity and growth, Pete Cromer's UooUoo features colours and shapes in his signature style.
Looking forward to seeing all of the UooUoo's in their locations, Pete Cromer describes his own as serene and wishes to recognise the wonderful work of the RCH over the last 150 years.
UooUoo Name: Vombatus Uoo
Location: Royal Botanic Gardens Victoria
Creating a puzzle of sorts inside his UooUoo design, Nathan Ferlazzo wants to encourage viewers to examine the sculpture, moving around it to take in all the small details.
Hoping to convey a sense of escapism and wonder, this design forces you to appreciate something fantastical whilst encouraging you to get lost in the visuals.
Inspired by the blue of both the sky and the ocean, this UooUoo screams positivity and provide your day with a little bit of joy.
Mulga The Artist
UooUoo Name: Koala Paradise
Location: Queensbridge Square
Combining nature, animals and summer with an Aussie twist, Mulga's UooUoo design can be described as a 'magical koala world' (his words, not ours).
Featuring a tropical scene depicting koalas having a great time frolicking in water and throwing beach balls, this UooUoo really is something else.
Keen to get outside and walk the trail himself, Mulga says he has been "getting more into illustrating full landscape scenes lately" in the hope of offering a full visual experience.
UooUoo Name: Tree Of Life UooUoo
Location: Melbourne Museum
With a love of wild, local places, Aussie artist Katherine Castle aimed to convey exactly that in her UooUoo design.
Featuring glimpses of our iconic fauna, this UooUoo hopes to offer delight and inspiration to anyone who sees it and encourages everyone to appreciate the precious wonders that are native to Australia.
Stepping outside of her comfort zone for this project, Katherine painted in acrylics, allowing for a more versatile and resilient finish and can't wait to see the diversity of the other 99 creations!
UooUoo Name: Great Barrier Reef Underseas
Location: Sandridge Bridge, Southbank
Drawing inspiration from the beauty of the Great Barrier Reef salt water country "wajali" (which adjoins our Mamu Rainforest country), Melanie's UooUoo takes you beneath the surface, featuring a flurry of activity and sea life.
Describing her work as "playful", Melanie admits that painting at unusual angles was challenging for this project but can't wait to see everyone's photos of each UooUoo as they explore the trail.