Convent Kids presents: Your Story Garden with Kids' Own Publishing

Tuesday 22 January 2019 - Friday 25 January 2019

Children are invited to let their imaginations run wild at the Convent this summer, as our stunning gardens are brought to life with art and book making workshops with some of your favourite picture book artists.

Published writers and illustrators will be inspired by our gardens and share their storytelling secrets – children will then create artwork to create their very own book to take home.

Renowned workshop leaders, Bern Emmerichs, Beci Orpin, Tai Snaith and Maxine Beneba Clarke are multi-talented storytellers and artists who can’t wait to celebrate the creation of books by kids for kids at the Convent.

Taking inspiration from a magical meander through the gardens, children will create their very own book inside ‘The Grand Imaginarium’ – a bamboo pavilion on our c3 gallery forecourt.

'The Grand Imaginarium: Your Story Garden' sessions are recommended for children aged 5 – 10 years old. Children under 8 must be accompanied by an adult. Adults can attend for free.

Tai Snaith
Tuesday 22 January, 10am – 12pm and 1 – 3pm

Tai returns to the Grand Imaginarium, drawing inspiration from the sprawling summer gardens of the Abbotsford Convent. Tai will help children build their own pictorial ‘world’ using clay and collage.

With an experimental playfulness, rich imagination and sense of humour, Tai Snaith works across many materials and within widely varying sites and contexts including collage, ceramics, painting, performance, installation and fiction. Born in 1980 in Australia, Snaith Tai has shown extensively both in Australia and internationally. Tai had her first picture book ‘The Family Hour in Australia’ published by Thames and Hudson in 2012 and her most recent book ‘Slow Down World’ came out last year.

Bern Emmerichs
Wednesday 23 January, 10am – 12pm and 1 – 3pm

Reimagine your world with Bern Emmerichs. Using the vast Australian landscape as inspiration, Bern will introduce children to the wonders of etching and encourage them to imagine and develop a world full of their own creatures and creations.

Bern Emmerichs is a Melbourne-based studio artist whose diverse practice includes painting, mosaic, design and public art; though she mainly works with ceramics, often painting on tiles. Bern is best known in the children’s book world for her stunning illustration of a series of five historical picture books including ‘M is for Mutiny: History by Alphabet’ and ‘The Unlikely Story of Bennelong and Phillip’. Her work combines narrative elements with nature to create art that speaks of humanity and its humor and philosophic depth. 

Beci Orpin
Thursday 24 January, 10am – 12pm and 1 – 3pm

Join Beci Orpin as she takes children on a wander through the beautiful grounds of the Convent and encourages them to create characters and stories using unexpected materials from their stunning surrounds.

Beci Orpin is a creative practitioner based in Melbourne, Australia. Her work occupies a space between illustration, design and craft. Beci has run a freelance studio for over 20 years, catering to a wide range of clients, as well as exhibiting her work both locally and internationally. She has authored four D.I.Y books and one children’s title, ‘Find Me a Castle: A Look-and-Find book’. Her work is described as colourful, graphic, bold, feminine and dream-like.

Maxine Beneba Clarke
Friday 25 January, 10am – 12pm and 1 – 3pm

Stories are a bit like patchwork – lots of different ideas patched together. Children will find out how Maxine put together her books ‘The Patchwork Bike’ and ‘Wide Big World’. Kids will make their own ‘imaginarium’ invention before making their own best-selling book! (PS there’ll also be a sneak peek of Maxine’s forthcoming book ‘Fashionista’).

Maxine is a multi-award-winning writer of books for children and adults, bringing a refreshing perspective on kids’ lives everywhere. Her unconventional picture book ‘The Patchwork Bike,’ a collaboration with local street artist Van T Rudd, won the Crichton Award for Children's Book Illustration and has just been voted one of the 2018 Best Books for Kids by the New York Public Library. For her forthcoming book for children, ‘Fashionista,’ Maxine is illustrator as well as writer.

The Grand Imaginarium - Your Story Garden is proudly supported by The Ian Potter Foundation and Copyright Agency Cultural Fund.

Contact Details

Yarra City Council

9205 5555


Date and time:
10:00 am - 3:00 pm
Tuesday 22 January 2019 - Friday 25 January 2019

Sensory Art Pavillion, c3 Forecourt, Abbotsford Convent