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#PPAC #7: A Day Carved Out for Kids

This is week 7 of PPAC already, almost two months. My co-host Cee Neuner and I have been thrilled at the response from this photo challenge. It gives us a chance to experience the heart of the world through Public Art. I wanted to combine this week’s post with #Tree Squares so I don’t miss a single day of July.

Public art is encompasses any form of art you see in a public place, large or small, statues, murals, graffiti, gardens, parks, etc. The art should be visible from streets, sidewalks or outdoor public places.

Featured Bloggers

Last Friday, Cee had a marvelous response from all of you during #PPAC #6. This week I get to choose the posts really grabbed my attention. They are all worthy of a second or third look. Next week Cee will choose the PPAC Featured Bloggers from my participants this week.

Australia Trip #20 Public Art for Kids and Fun Adults

Four years ago I traveled from California to Australia on my own to meet two of my blogging friends, Carol, the Eternal Traveller from Queensland and Leanne Cole from Melbourne who gave me several online photography lessons, and my first taste of the Australia accent.

On day three Carol and I focused on Melbourne’s parks. Here we found a two examples of public art that honored children.

The Fairies’ Tree

Ola Cohn carved this tree as a gift to the Children of Melbourne from 1931-34 based on her book, The Fairies Tree.

As we walk around the red gum tree in Fitzroy Garden we saw the various characters from the book that most Australians grew up with. A few of the pictures I kept in their original shape rather than cutting off more figures.

She used the tree’s natural nooks and crannies to carve out the spiders, gnomes, ducks, birds, fairies, koalas, flying foxes, a donkey and other critters. See what creatures you find as we go around the tree. I particularly loved this spider web.

Cohn carved the tree after the tree had died, so in 1977 the tree was dug up and treated, rotten wood removed and restorers reset it on a concrete base.

This looks like maybe she could be a head fairy. She has that teacher look on her face and her hand on her hip. Watch out kids.
This fairy on the other hand smiles benevolently with her arms outstretched to at her charges.

The Fairies’ Tree Carved by Ola Cohn, M.B.E., A.R.C.A. from 1931-1934. (The book was published in 1932). Forward from her book, “The Fairies’ Tree

“‘I have carved a tree in the Fitzroy Gardens for you and the Fairies, but mostly for the fairies and those who believe in them. For they will understand how necessary it is to have a fairy sanctuary – a place that is sacred and safe. A home should be to all living creatures.

Therefore I dedicate this book to children and fairies as it is to them I owe my inspiration.”

Ola Cohn

Melbourne, 23rd May, 1932.

Mr. Lizard and Gumnut Baby from Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

I think Carol must have researched for months before we visited Melbourn because she knew every little spot she thought that I would enjoy as a retired elementary teacher.

Mr. Lizard and the Gumnut Baby

The statue, located outside the State Library of Victoria, features Snugglepot riding Mr. Lizard. I haven’t read the story, by May Gibbs, but according to sources who have, Mr. Lizard is a Goanna and a friend to all the babies, who have enemies in the Australian bush.

Mr. Lizard and Gumnut Baby from Snugglepot and Cuddlepie

May Gibbs, author and illustrator, 1877-1969

Smiley Williams, sculptor born 1947

Cast at Artworks in Bronze in 1998 Scholastic Dromkeen Children’s Literature Collection Copyright The Spastic Gen. of NSW (now the Cerebral Palsy Alliance)

State Library of Victoria

I am also submitting this post to Natalie the Explorer’s Coffee Share this week.

Have fun spotting public art this week. Cee and I love all the wonderful varieties of art that you are finding.

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Hi, I'm Marsha Ingrao, a retired educator and wife of a retired realtor. My all-consuming hobby is blogging and it has changed my life. My friends live all over the world. In November 2020, we sold everything and retired to the mile-high desert of Prescott, AZ. We live less than five miles from the Granite Dells, four lakes, and hundreds of trails with our dog, Kalev, and two cats, Moji and Nutter Butter. Vince's sister came with us and lives close by. Every day is a new adventure.

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