Porky Hefer

Leather, steel
126 x 155 x 239 cm | 49.6 x 61 x 94 in. Edition 1 of 3


Hefer exploits the heavyweight form and sloping back of the walrus to create a chaise-like shape on which a figure can climb, lounge or sit. Continuous panels of hand-stitched leather create a smooth, even surface that invites touch and movement across it. Hefer’s design emphasizes one of the animal’s defining characteristics – its long tusks, which give the animal its scientific name, Odobenus rosmarus (“tooth-walking sea-horse”). Walruses use these appendages like ski poles, digging them

into sand, snow and ice to lift their enormous bodies out of the water, as well as to smash through ice from below, creating breathing holes while swimming.

The artist points out other ingenious adaptations: “Walruses can sleep underwater thanks to large air sacs in their throats. They can fill these pouches with over 10 gallons of air, enabling them to rest in a vertical position and avoid drowning with the help of their portable pillow. They have devised a way to eat molluscs by creating a seal with their lips and using their tongue to produce a vacuum that sucks the meat directly out of the shell. Male walruses are also wonderful singers – their serenades can go on for up to 65 hours at a time. They make all sorts of strange noises under water, including knocks, barks, taps, clicks, rasps, grunts and bellows.”

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