5 July 2023

CMAG invites young minds to participate in Uncharted Territory alongside renowned illustrator

| Dione David
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Pop up city made of paper glue and coloured pencils

James Gulliver Hancock will demonstrate simple techniques that will turn seemingly ordinary materials into imaginative artworks at CMAG for Uncharted Territory. Photo: James Gulliver Hancock.

As part of the Territory’s exciting new festival, Uncharted Territory, Canberra Museum and Gallery (CMAG) has enlisted the help of a world-class illustrator to bring the festival’s mission to showcase innovation to an important cohort – our children.

Renowned Sydney illustrator James Gulliver Hancock is headed to the nation’s capital to host a series of workshops at CMAG in conjunction with the new festival.

The three workshops are inspired by the CMAG exhibition How Cities Work, based on a Lonely Planet Kids title of the same name and on tour from the Museum of History NSW.

All workshops are suitable for children aged from seven years and will be hosted by James himself as he demonstrates simple techniques that will turn seemingly ordinary materials into imaginative artworks.

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CMAG Visitor Experience acting director Michael Bailey said it was a win to have an illustrator of James’s calibre host the series.

“When I first heard the exhibition was coming from Sydney, my kids and I pulled the book off our shelf to look at James’s illustrations,” he said.

“We were lucky to have him visit and show the kids how he creates these evocative drawings of cities and transport depicting how everything works.

“It’s going to make for some very engaging events that kids will love.”

Pop up city made of cardboard

The workshops aim to get kids thinking about the environment they’re inheriting through an innovative lens. Photo: James Gulliver Hancock.

The series kicks off on Friday (7 July) with two ticketed workshops. In the morning, it’s the Pop-Up City Art Workshop where kids will create their very own pop-up artwork inspired by the How Cities Work exhibition using cardboard, paper, glue and coloured pencils.

In the afternoon, the Design Your Vehicle Art Workshop invites kids to “explore the future of getting around”. Again guided by James, they’ll create fantastic futuristic vehicles starting with 2D design and development through to the 3D objects they’ll take home.

Then running over Saturday and Sunday is the free Build a City Drop-In Workshop, where all children are invited to collaborate on building an entire pop-up city using the same materials.

READ ALSO Uncharted Territory for Canberra as new festival mixes tech, creativity with explosive results

Through a series of events across Canberra, Uncharted Territory will encourage participants to push boundaries in innovation, art and science and reimagine the future. Michael said this was a mission that begged involvement from the young citizens of the world.

“Uncharted territory programming is all about new ideas and thinking. It makes sense to start engaging with the youngest of minds to start them thinking about our city and imagining how it could be different in their future,” he said.

“Take the Design Your Vehicle workshop, for example – that focuses on designing futuristic vehicles. It will get their young minds thinking about how vehicles might work in a smart city, or how they might look when we have less reliance on fossil fuels.

“We want to get kids thinking about the environment they’re inheriting and provide opportunities for them to apply innovative thinking around every facet of their lives.”

Illustration of a bus in lead pencil by James Gulliver Hancock

Young minds will be invited to dream up alternate ways our city might work in the future. Photo: James Gulliver Hancock.

All three events are happening in a space facing Civic Square, where CMAG will also host a pop-up hub for Uncharted Territory in the city.

As the event happens to coincide with City Renewal Authority’s Winter in the City and its highly popular skating rink, Michael said it was the ideal opportunity to extend their visit to the CBD.

“Children can hop off the rink and come to CMAG where they can tap into their creativity and imagination at our workshops,” he said.

The Pop-up City Art Workshop runs from 10:30 am to 12 pm, and the Design your Vehicle Art Workshop runs from 1:30 pm to 3 pm on Friday, 7 July. General admission is $20, CMAG members and concession $15 and groups of three are $50.

The free Build a City Drop-in Workshop runs on Saturday, 8 July, and Sunday, 9 July, from 10 am to 3 pm.

Other family-friendly Uncharted Territory events include the Powering Your Future live science displays held across numerous Canberra suburbs. For a full program, visit Uncharted Territory.

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