Porky Hefer

Leather, steel, sheepskin
199 x 94 x 91 cm | 78 x 37 x 35.8 in.

Edition 1 of 3

Named for the artist’s red-headed son, Tao is a luxuriantly tactile suspended seat handcrafted from leather and sheepskin. The work’s playful proportions and plush materiality dispel conventional assumptions around bats as ominous creatures
of darkness. Intimate, intriguing and inviting, Hefer’s interpretation calls to mind a confessional with its arched opening and concave nook. The effect is further heightened by a pair of folded wings, their triangular tips delineating exterior from interior, the latter lined with brushed sheepskin in a deep shade of vermillion.

Hefer shares some of the animal’s lesser-known qualities: “The only mammal capable of flight is the bat. Often mistaken to be blind, they have colour vision which allows them to find ripe fruits more efficiently. They don’t use their teeth to chew; instead, they pierce the fruit and use their long tongue to draw out the contents. Being mammals, all bats have belly buttons. Rather curiously, the males are also capable of producing milk, so both parents can contribute to feeding their young.”

Without bats, say goodbye to chocolate, bananas, avocados and mangoes. Over 300 species of fruit depend on bats for pollination. Bats help spread seeds for nuts, figs and cacao — the primary ingredient in chocolate.

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