Thursday, 11 August 2016

Fur and bristles

The pink and white African pygmy hedgehog is a lovely design for a cake. An albino who wouldn't survive long in the wild, she tucks into wiggly grubs, or scampers to infinity on a plastic rotating saucer. 

I've even got some black card to draw her on, as I scavenged some offcuts left outside a picture framer's on the way here - I'm in Chiswick where the locals aren't posh enough to rifle through recycling bags. 

Oxfam has a book in the window by the painter Roger Hilton for £125. Cheaper than Amazon but the cover is fading and warping in the direct sunlight.

I'm here for a club night organised by Our models this evening are two meerkats, an opossum, the hedgehog and a Richardson's ground squirrel.

There is no strict-art-teacher vibe so some people snap the creatures with their phones, draw what's on their screens and put it on Instagram.

The animals are non-judgemental unless you happen to be prey. They move like mercury, busy with their routines inside their transparent mobile homes. The squirrel is ferociously shredding blue paper to make a nest. 

When brought out and introduced to us by their minders, they are calm because they have been hand-reared in captivity. The hedgehog's bristles feel soft if you stroke her in the right direction.

More pictures if you scroll down.


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