Release the hounds, it’s fox hunting season in England. Finnish designer Hanna-Kaarina Heikkilä aims to challenge public perception of the urban environment by scattering 60 ceramic foxes throughout London for her Wild in the Cityproject, as part of the London Design Festival. The artist designs her sculptures, hides them throughout the city and then leaves polaroid snapshots on her Instagram account as clues to locate them. Find a fox and it is yours to keep.
Typically, the urban fox is seen as a pest or nuisance to inhabitants in London, so the artist hopes that this game of finders keepers will encourage citizens to reconsider these judgements and recognize the role all creatures play in their habitat. She wants “to wake up and surprise people in their everyday environment and [make them] consider the interaction between art, man and animals in their shared urban environment.” Further, the fox has long been seen as symbol of the class war in Britain, making this social commentary all the more timely.
Heikkilä’s fox installation is another step in her global tour, continuing from a successful display at Helsinki Design Festival, wherein she hid ceramic rabbits throughout the city. She hopes to continue her Wild in the City projects in Japan and Los Angeles in the coming year.