Artist: John Wood
Title: Kidsville
Installed: 2012
Materials: Forged and fabricated mild steel and Iron Bark
Location: Wagga Wagga Botanic Gardens

Kidsville is a colourful, fun and visually stimulating sculpture framing the entry way to the Kidsville Playground at Wagga Wagga’s Botanic Gardens.

The sculpture depicts a spring sun shower, falling upon new season sunflowers with an rainbow appearing as the clouds shift. Perched upon the rainbow looking down and laughing playfully is the Kidsville elf, a friend to all who pass beneath.

Local artist John Wood chose to incorporate flowers, rainbows, sun and rain as shapes that young children easily recognise and regularly appear in their own art work.

John commented, “The weather has always captured my attention, it is the cause of everyday decisions, livelihood and emotions for many. Weather has been the focal point for some of my previous sculpture. South Eastern Australia has been experiencing hotter and drier periods of weather for the past nine years, personally at times I have struggled with this, and maybe is why sometimes my work reflects this subject.”

John Wood is a practicing blacksmith, designing, making, and installing architectural and sculptural metal work since 1999.

Wood's work is a response to his regional and rural environment designing large scale works that have sense of place, belonging and soulful purpose reflecting his rural roots.

Shape and form, juxtaposing organic and geometric lines are prominent in Wood’s work. His sculptures reference the co-existence of built and natural environments, influenced by the American abstract sculptor Albert Paley and the beauty of English artist blacksmith Brian Russell, whom he trained with in 2005.

Wood has won several large scale public art commissions for public collections along with numerous private commissions.