60 ceramic life-size city foxes are placed around East London. 60 ceramic life-size city rabbits are placed around Helsinki. Finders, keepers. Love your urban environment.
Wild in the City is an environmental installation by Finnish architect and glass and ceramics artist Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä. It is an ongoing project studying and experimenting on how we perceive our urban enviroment. The installation also celebrates urban diversity. Live and let live.
Wild in the City encourages to observe and examine our surroundings, to conceive how surprising urban environments can be and how the ugly may turn out to be beautiful and mundane things become interesting.
"I want to wake up and surprise people in their everyday environment and consider the interaction between art, man and animals in their shared urban environment. Animals in an urban setting arouse feelings about how we should relate to them. Do they have the same rights as man to use urban space. Should we let them spread freely?" says Heikkilä.
Heikkilä delights in the thought of where the may end up. "I take a Polaroid of the fox when I place it in the city. I hope those who find the foxes take pictures of them in their new place and post them on Instagram (#wildinthecity_globe) or on the gallery's Facebook page.
Animals are city specific, they always cause the most discussion amongst inhabitants in each city. Foxes are particularly interesting in the UK. It's not just about people protecting their gardens and environment from the wilderness. They are symbols and vehicles of class war in the UK.
"Wild in the city" started it's global tour in the Helsinki Design Festival in August 2015 with city rabbits. The exhibition was a great success. The rabbiting crowd added a new layer to the exhibition. Media coverage couldn't have been better. The biggest daily, the biggest tabloid, national TV news, leading interior magazines just to name a few.
Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä (b. 1985) is an architect and glass and ceramics artist.
Heikkilä has exhibited this year in Helsinki, Milan and Mexico City with glass works. She's currently working both in architecture and glass and ceramics design.