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Wild Thing Art Exhibition with Living Laboratory Science Festival

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by Irenke Forsyth (subscribe)
A writer sharing travels, experiences, a love of festivals & events. Life is a journey and I hope to inspire others. Visit my blog at
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Of creatures great and small
Wild Thing is a free art exhibition and outdoor festival taking place at Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden for two weeks in August. It's one for the whole family to enjoy, with a special kids day closing party full of fun activities.

Wild Thing Art Exhibition, Living Laboratory Science Festival, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Getting back to nature with art, science and the inhabitants of the gardens

Focusing on the wildlife living in the gardens, artists will portray creatures great and small in a variety of mediums that include drawings, paintings, prints, photos and, even ceramics. You'll explore not only those creatures in Sydney's garden but also those that call the botanic gardens at Mt Tomah and Mt Annan home.

Inhabitants include birds, mammals, spiders, insects, reptiles, frogs, fish and crustaceans, and the artworks will be for sale with proceeds going to both the artists and the Foundation and Friends of the Botanic Gardens, with the latter being aided in continuing its support of the horticulture, conservation, scientific research and education programs within the gardens.

Exhibitors include:-

Angela Robertson-Buchanan – award-winning freelance nature photographer and author of Frankie the Galah and Teddy the Wombat
Leila Jeffries – a leading Australian artist keen on birds, you can find her works in galleries both here in Sydney and overseas in London and New York
Geoffrey Carran – his vibrant paintings capture the character of his subject and explore the personality within
Lenny Pelling – an illustrator, designer and author producing prints of various critters
Eggpicnic – a Sydney based illustration and design studio, dedicated to wildlife conservation, whose work has been chosen by the City of Sydney council as part of their new Creative City Sydney program to change the cityscape with birds on large boards

Plus a whopping 38 others, each bringing their own style

Eggpicnic art, Sydney
Eggpicnic - brightening up Sydney with their flocks of birds

Other highlights (some with a fee) include:-

Afternoon Opening Celebration

The day before the public exhibition begins, serious shoppers of art can get in first to enjoy some exquisite pieces and mingle with artists as they sip on a glass of Tyrell's Wine and down delicious canapés.

Guest speaker Nick Boyle of Taronga Conservation Society Australia will address guests before declaring the exhibition officially open.

It's on 3 August, from 2pm-4pm, at a cost of $65 per person ($55pp for Foundation & Friends Members). Bookings can be made here.

Animals & Art: Author Talk & Exhibition Tour

Author of Habitat and contributor to Gardening Australia magazine, AB Bishop will show you in this talk how to attract birds and animals into your garden for both your own enjoyment and the sustainability of the wildlife in your local environment.

You'll also learn about maintaining the fauna-friendly landscape and the importance of understanding how all the aspects link together in the backyard ecosystem.

Following the talk, you will be taken on a curator-led tour of the Wild Thing exhibition.

This talk and tour, including morning tea, takes place on 12 August from 9am-11am. The cost is $40 per person ($35pp for Foundation & Friends Members). Click here to book.

Living Laboratory Science Festival/Kids Day Closing Party

Living Laboratory Science Festival, Royal Botanic Garden Sydney
Plenty of activities to keep the kids busy

Become a scientist for the day, celebrating the environmental sciences, with hands-on science experiments, behind-the-scenes tours, talks, science stalls and demonstrations.

From 11am-3pm, you can also meet real scientists and ask your burning questions of them, enjoy fossil-making, hands-on propagating for kids and other plant explorer activities, and see stunning horticultural displays along with all the feathered, fluffy, scaled and slimy creatures within the gardens.

Music, food trucks and stalls will be onsite at this enthralling day of discovery on the lawns near the Learning Centre. Most of it is free (some aspects are ticketed) on this last day of the exhibition (18 August).

Anything Else?

As well as the above, you can purchase plants from $5 and up in the Growing Friends Nursery. It has many native, exotic, rare, hard-to-find and endangered species propagated from the living collections in the gardens. Further information can be found here.

When you're hungry or thirsty, visit the pop-up Food with Friends Cafe. Open daily from 11am to 2pm, it will sort you out with homemade sweet treats, tea, coffee and delicious lunch items that include an assortment of sandwiches, salads and poke bowls.

For all the details, from the best gate to enter to parking and a map of the gardens, pop online to the website.
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When: Wild Thing 10am-4pm daily, Science Festival 11am-3pm final day
Phone: 02 9231 8182
Where: Wild Thing art exhibition at Lion Gate Lodge, Science Festival near the Learning Centre, Royal Botanic Garden, Mrs Macquaries Rd, Sydney
Cost: Free entry with some items ticketed
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