Porky Hefer

Leather, steel, sheepskin
89 x 109 x 247 cm | 35 x 42.9 x 97.2 in.

Edition 1 of 5

These unusual seating objects convey Hefer’s unconventional approach to functionality, which he describes as “a new kind
of animal architecture”. Their design invites various modes of interaction with the human body: covered in sheepskin, the beavers’ forms can act as plush ottoman seats on which to perch or backrests to lean against if the sitter chooses to lounge on the quilted leather pads of their tails. Hefer’s choice of titles – Maria and Kevin – pays homage to two influential lecturers from his graphic design degree at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology.

While beavers are sometimes seen as an annoyance because they chew down trees and block up streams that can lead to flooding, the artist describes them as “ecosystem engineers” responsible for an impressive level of biodiversity in the areas they live and build dams. Their front teeth are often depicted as white, but they are closer to orange in colour. This is from the high amounts of iron they contain, which enables them to gnaw through tree trunks. Because the orange enamel on the front of their teeth wears away more slowly than the white dentine on the back, a beaver’s teeth self-sharpen as it chews on trees.

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