UooUoo at The Royal Children’s Hospital

“Australia has quite a rich tradition particularly from Indigenous stories. I wanted to create something that was new, but had an Australian native animal resonance. I thought a hybrid between a wombat and a dugong would create a gentle, and kind persona.” – Alexander Knox, artist

Meet UooUoo

UooUoo by Alexander Knox is an imaginary Australian creature. Its shape is loosely drawn from the wombat and dugong, and it has chameleon abilities, changing its skin colour and patterns in an instant.

UooUoo can be shy when adults are near but courageous and playful around children who it loves to help and comfort.

UooUoo is an old friend of Creature, the sculpture that stands in the main foyer of The Royal Children’s Hospital (RCH).​

UooUoo has been generously purchased for permanent display at the RCH.

Meet the Artist - Alexander Knox

For the past 16 years, Alexander Knox has been creating major art works in the public realm while maintaining a studio-based practice.

His public practice is diverse in form and approach, covering large free-standing sculpture, architecturally integrated sculpture, major light works, kinetic sculpture, play sculpture and sound works.

Alexander engages in a process that responds to multilayered ideas of place through an exploration of the site’s (often competing) histories, uses and meanings. Through this range of sculptural approaches, Alexander looks for ways to engage with the site and its public whilst asking questions that relate to ideas of perception, identity and subjectivity in the public realm.

When asked to work with the RCH Foundation on Me and UooUoo: The RCH150 Anniversary Art Trail, Alexander was eager to get involved. Like most parents, he has had the experience of coming to the RCH in the middle of the night with the most precious thing in the world to him, his child.

“It really brings home how important and precious this wonderful institution is”.

It was because of these personal experiences, that Alexander saw it a great honour to have “another amazing opportunity to work with the RCH, to make a small contribution to something that really matters”.

What is UooUoo?

UooUoo (pronounced you-you) was designed by award-winning Australian artist Alexander Knox in celebration of the 150th anniversary of the RCH Melbourne. UooUoo is an imaginary Australian creature whose shape is loosely based on the wombat and dugong.

This sculpture was originally part of Me and UooUoo: The RCH150 Anniversary Art Trail, which continues to raise awareness and funds for the life-changing paediatric healthcare services of the RCH Melbourne by bringing colour and creativity to public spaces around the globe.

What was the Art Trail?

Combining Victoria’s renowned passion for arts and culture with a dash of outdoor adventure, Me and UooUoo: The RCH150 Anniversary Art Trail brought curiosity and colour to the streets of Melbourne and Geelong in a spectacular public art project like no other. Each of the 100 sculptures designed by award-winning Australian artist Alexander Knox was decorated by an Australian artist, making it unique. A free map and app helped the community navigate the trail.

When the art trail event concluded, the sculptures were brought together for a special farewell event at the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre. This gave Victorians one final chance to see the sculptures up close. After the farewell event, the sculptures took centre stage at an exclusive auction night. All proceeds from the auction went towards the hospital, leaving a lasting legacy.