Launched as part of London Design Festival, Wild in the City explores the city dweller’s relationship with urban wildlife, specifically the urban fox, which is a commonly found animal in East London generally considered a nuisance- particularly for gardeners. Heikkilä’s game of finders-keepers and its 60 numbered ceramic foxes aim to encourage people to see beauty in the surroundings they may often consider mundane or ugly. The artist also chose to use foxes because of their historic status as symbols of class war in the UK.
Related: Artist builds a life-size wood replica of a London Underground station
“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,” says Heikkilä. “Animals in an urban setting arouse feeling 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?”
To help people in the search, Heikkilä has posted black-and-white Polaroid clues of the hidden foxes and their locations on Facebook and Instagram. Her ceramic fox installation is but one part of the Wild in the City project, which started its global tour at the Helsinki Design Festival, where Heikkilä hid white ceramic rabbits throughout the Finnish capital. Heikkilä plans to bring Wild in the City to places like Tokyo and Los Angeles in 2016.
+ Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä
+ London Design Festival coverage on Inhabitat
Lead image via Charlene Lam, others from Saariaho Järvenpää