The Grand Imaginarium – Your Story Garden


Proudly presented by the Abbotsford Convent and Kids’ Own Publishing

January 22 – 25, 2018

Children are invited to let their imaginations run wild at the Abbotsford Convent this summer, as the stunning gardens are brought to life with artists, authors and illustrators through a series of exciting bookmaking workshops.

Taking inspiration from a magical meander through the gardens, children will create their very own book in ‘the Grand Imaginarium’ in front of our c3 gallery forecourt – a place for creative exploration, collaboration and imaginative bookmaking.

Children will not only take a copy of their book home, but copies of their books will be distributed around the site’s cafes and galleries for other visitors to the Convent to read and enjoy.

Proceeds from this public program directly support Kids’ Own Publishing’s creative arts and publishing projects with communities in need. Kids’ Own Publishing uses creativity and community publishing to increase children’s and young people’s literacy development, sense of identity and belonging in the wider community.

These sessions are recommended for children aged 5 – 10 years old.
A special session for children aged 8 – 12 years old is available on Thursday 24 January at 1pm.
Children under 8 years old should be accompanied by an adult. Adults can attend for free.

When: 22, 23, 24, 25 January 2018. Two sessions each day.

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

Where: c3 Contemporary Art Space forecourt,  Heritage Gardens, Abbotsford Convent, 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford

Cost: $12 per child

‘The Grand Imaginarium: Your Story Garden’ is presented as part of the Convent Kids program – an exciting new year-round program developed by the Abbotsford Convent Foundation for children and families to explore and create art together.

‘The Grand Imaginarium: Your Story Garden’ is proudly presented in partnership with Abbotsford Convent as part of the Convent Kids program, and is supported by The Ian Potter Foundation and Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.


Monday 22 January – Kenny Pittock

Look twice and nothing is as it first seems in artist/writer Kenny Pittock’s playful work. Children are invited to see the world through fun new eyes and flip everyday objects and incidents into funny and beautiful books. During the workshop they will draw and make sculptures that are all about the four Pops – pop art, pop up books, popcorn and paddlepops.

A 29 year old artist from Melbourne, Kenny says, “I’ve been lucky enough to show my art in some pretty amazing exhibitions, but nothing compares to the time I kicked an apple core through a basketball ring from half court using my left foot.”

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

Book Now

Tuesday 23 January – Minna Gilligan

Make an eye-poppingly colourful book inspired by artist Minna Gilligan, who will introduce children to an explosion of colours and texture using paints, textas, fabric, old magazine cut-outs, stickers and much more to create imaginative collages.

Minna Gilligan LOVES COLOUR and works primarily with painting, drawing and collage. In 2015 Gilligan published her first book, ‘Time After Time’ (Hardie Grant Australia/ Rizzoli New York), as well as ‘Poems, Prayers and Promises’, a book commissioned by the National Gallery of Victoria. Gilligan was a studio artist at Gertrude Contemporary from 2015 – 2017 and currently teaches at Monash University. Her work is in the National Gallery of Australia and Deakin University collections.

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

Book Now

Wednesday 24 January – Tai Snaith

Drawing inspiration from the sprawling summer gardens of the Abbotsford Convent, Tai will help children build their own pictorial ‘world’ using clay, collage and water colour!

With an experimental playfulness, rich imagination and sense of humour, Tai Snaith works across many materials and within widely varying styles and contexts including ceramics, painting, performance, installation and fiction. Tai has shown extensively both in Australia and overseas, and in 2012 her first picture book, ‘The Family Hour in Australia, was published by Thames and Hudson. ‘Sticks and Stones, Animal Homes’ was published in 2015 and her most recent book ‘Slow Down World’ came out earlier this year.

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

Book Now

Thursday 25 January – Michael Camilleri and Ruben Camilleri

Michael Camilleri is an award-winning Melbourne artist. He illustrates books, makes comics and animations, draws storyboards, paints, directs theatre, and is sometimes a crazy clown! He has worked with Kid’s Own Publishing many times, and is well known for his trumpet fanfares when books are published. Michael’s 10 year old son Ruben is also an avid artist in his own right. Ruben has created more animations, comics and films than his Dad, and is quickly mastering the art of storytelling via his comic books. Ruben is looking forward to sharing his comic book creativity with other young creatives.

10am – 12pm session: Michael
Calling all children who love to make people laugh, and dream of crazy stories to draw up! Join Michael Camilleri in working out how to create action or slapstick comedy in a story told with pictures. We will be in the garden! There will be fantastical creatures! There will be clowning! And you will leave with your very own book! Note – this session is ideally suited for ages 5 – 10 years old.

1 – 3pm session: Michael and Ruben
Join father and son duo Michael and Ruben in an adventure into the world of comics. Children will discover how to tell a story through comics and create their own masterpiece. There will be pens! There will be paper! And children will be the creators of it all! This session is for older children – suitable for ages 8 – 12 years old.

Book Now