Award-winning designer and artist Porky Hefer’s first solo show in Joburg—Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious—takes place until 4 November 2017 at the Southern Guild and WhatIfTheWorld gallery in Keyes Art Mile.
Krone R.D 2001 was poured on the opening night in celebration of this innovative artist. We catch up with Porky.
What does creativity mean to you?
It means originating not managing.
Can you tell us about the exhibition and why you think Krone R.D was a good fit?
It has a bit of everything. It shows a good cross section of the work that I have been doing with Trevyn and Julian and the Southern Guild team. It includes both leather and cane pieces and some that combine the two. When I first started all my work was suspended. I was challenged to come down off the roof and use the floor. I did some pieces that explored the walls first which I believe is a totally underutilised surface in the room. These pieces are included as well as the shell, which sits on the floor and of course a number of suspended pieces. I have been in a number of group shows in Johannesburg but never really enough pieces to give Joburg a better understanding of my craft and a peek into my brain.
What inspires you day to day – and what advice do you have for others seeking inspiration?
Evolution inspires me. I try to do something different every time. I like to learn from my process and use this to do something better or braver. I think experience is everything. With it we can steer our own course and find new directions. So many people are committed upholding the status quo. They don’t know anything else and don’t want to as it might take them beyond their comfort zone. The thugs and the opportunists are controlling the world and society at the moment. We need to get beyond this.
Can you share the story behind The Mud Dauber Sleeping Pod?
These are sleeping pods that are attached to the wall. They are inspired by the mud nests of the Mud Dauber Wasp, made to lay their eggs in. The orange colour of the cushion represents the orange mud, which they make their nests from in Namibia. They are way big enough for a person to sleep comfortably in. They can be hung at waist height for easy access or higher and then accessed by a ladder. I imagine a holiday house with a large wall with four to six of them in with ladders of various heights. This then frees up a lot of floor space that is no longer taken up by large bulky beds.
What’s behind the title: Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious, why did you choose it for your exhibition?
I love the word. I love the way it sounds and the way that it makes you feel when you say it. It’s similar to the way you feel after climbing into a Killer Whale Chair or climb on to a leopard’s branch. It’s childish, fantastic and a bit ridiculous. A lot like my work. I like the fact that it is considered a made up word rather than a “real” word, that’s the realm I like to work in.
Do you have any advice for people wanting to get into a creative pursuit like art?
I don’t think its something you want to get into. It’s something you are in. As a hobby it’s fun because there is not much pressure to succeed or be the best or be noticed. It’s more of a personal thing. When it becomes a livelihood it becomes a bit more difficult. People have to buy in to what you are doing. They have to like it in order for you to succeed. Art has to have a market of some form, that’s when you have to choose between being commercial and being ground breaking—that’s a tough fork to navigate. It’s a tough path with a lot of rejection and hard work. Working on your own, without the support of a company is difficult. You have to do everything yourself. You have to believe in yourself. But that’s good as it becomes more personal and more original.
What’s are you working on at the moment? Currently putting finishing touches to a 2.5m long Toco Toucan. Its beak is massive. It’s Design Miami time again in November—a great platform with work from the worlds best designers. I like to look at fairs in a bigger context and try to do work that stands out and really connects with the visitors A great opportunity to do something fun and bold but there is some logic behind my madness, Brazilians make up a big part of the collectors in Miami and its them I want to attract.