The Grand Imaginarium

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The Grand Imaginarium is back for Summer with ‘Your Secret Garden’ presented by Kids’ Own Publishing and The Abbotsford Convent.

Children are invited to let their imaginations run wild at the Abbotsford Convent this Summer, as our stunning gardens are brought to life with award-winning children’s authors and leading artists.

Following a magical tour through the gardens, children will work with artists, illustrators and writers – including Australian Children’s Laureate, Leigh Hobbs (‘Mr. Chicken goes to Paris’) – to write and publish their very own book, feeding their creativity and capturing their very special day at the Convent.

Children will not only take a copy of their own book home, but will also contribute to a special compilation of stories which will be placed around the Convent, creating a story trail for other children to enjoy when they visit the Convent.

‘Your Secret Garden’ sessions are recommended for children aged 5 – 12-years-old. Children must be accompanied by an adult. Adults can attend for free.

Please note that limited bookings by appointment are now open for school groups, with sessions available on Wednesday 8 – Friday 10 February 2017 (see details below).

When: 21, 22, 28 & 29 January, 2017.
Two sessions each day –
Session 1: 10am – 12pm
Session 2: 1 – 3pm

Where:  c3 Contemporary Art Space forecourt, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St. Heliers St, Abbotsford, Victoria.

Cost: $10 for 1 child and a guardian
$15 for 2 children and a guardian
$20 for 3 children and 2 guardians

Frequently Asked Questions

The Grand Imaginarium is proudly supported by The Ian Potter Foundation, CAL Cultural Fund and the City of Yarra.

Saturday 21 January – Yuria Okamura

Yuria Okamura, whose artistic practice focuses on abstract drawing, will teach children to use watercolour staining and line drawing techniques to create plants, animals, buildings and the background of their very own secret garden at the Convent.

Session 1: 10am – 12pm
Session 2: 1 – 3pm

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Sunday 22 January – Pippa Bainbridge

“The bees are busy, humming and buzzing. The crickets are restless, creaking and chirping. Your shoes squelch on the wet grass and you turn suddenly as a sprinkler sputters and hisses into life…”

Children will join Pippa Bainbridge – a performance-maker whose children’s theatre productions includes ‘Beneath and Beyond’ at La Mama – for a guided journey through the Convent garden, listening to and interpreting the sounds around them. These sounds will then be used in new and surprising ways, including a series of games that lead children to create their own sonic textures, rich aural landscapes and sound-driven stories.

Session 1: 10am – 12pm
Session 2: 1 – 3pm

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Saturday 28 January – Leigh Hobbs

Guest artist Leigh Hobbs will help children explore expression through illustration and create characters for their secret garden.

Leigh Hobbs, current Australian Children’s Laureate, is one of Australia’s most acclaimed contemporary children’s book authors and illustrators, with his most well-known books being ‘Old Tom’, ‘Mr. Chicken Goes to Paris’ and ‘Horrible Harriet’.

Since the release of his first book, ‘Old Tom’, in 1994, Leigh’s picture books have enjoyed huge success and have since been adapted into a cartoon TV series (‘Old Tom’) and a stage play (‘Mr Chicken Goes to Paris’).

Session 1: 10am – 12pm
Session 2: 1 – 3pm

BOOK NOW

Sunday 29 January – Jane Godwin

From the tiniest insect to the grandest gum tree, to a magpie’s call to the summer breeze rustling the leaves, this will be a journey of fun and discovery, culminating in children’s own creations using words and pictures.

A renowned publisher and award-winning author of more than 20 children’s books, Jane Godwin will use one of her picture books, ‘All Through the Year’, as a springboard for children to explore the theme of seasons and the natural environment of the Convent’s gardens. Observing and immersing themselves in different locations, children will use all of their senses to create their own stories. Children will experiment with different poetic forms and approaches, and have fun describing the wonder of nature in their own original way.

Session 1: 10am – 12pm
Session 2: 1 – 3pm

BOOK NOW

Special School Program – Bookings by Appointment Now Open

Tailored programs are also being held for schools by appointment. Sessions are available on Wednesday 8 – Friday 10 February 2017. Please contact Minna at Kids’ Own Publishing for more information and bookings.