Hester the hedgehog immortalised
A hedgehog has inspired a book and exhibition by Plimmerton artist Daphne Brennan.
Hester The Hedgehog was written and illustrated by Brennan in 2002, but not published until this year.
Brennan completed 29 watercolour paintings for the book, inspired by a hedgehog that fell into her swimming pool.
‘‘I come off a farm and I like the animals and birds and things like that,’’ she said.
‘‘Hedgehogs are prickly, so they get left alone and I felt sorry for them, really.
‘‘ I thought these poor little things. They get around like a little pussy cat, but can’t get cud- dled. The cat would get all sorts of treatment and the hedgehogs get none, and so that’s where the story developed.’’
The project was too expensive to print at the time, and the paintings were filed and forgotten about, she said.
Her friend and fellow Plimmerton artist Gay Kerr rediscovered the paintings earlier this year and encouraged Brennan to print them.
She has also created sculptures of the book’s characters, Hester, Henry the cat and Marty Matelle, who rescues Hester and Henry from a swimming pool.
Brennan, formerly a dental nurse, grew up with a love of art, but never pursued it as a career because it was not regarded as an acceptable job at the time.
It was not until she had children that she started to take art more seriously and attended lifedrawing classes at Wellington Tech, now the Wellington Community Education Centre.
She now runs The Bay Gallery in School Rd, open Saturdays from 1pm till 4pm, or by request.
Brennan has plans for another book, but has not started working on it yet.
‘‘It’ll be something that deals with nature again,’’ she said.
Spiky art: Plimmerton artist Gay Kerr, right, sits with her sculpture Hester, inspired by a book written by
Plimmerton’s Daphne Brennan.