Hester the hedge­hog im­mor­talised

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By TALIA CARLISLE

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.

Photo: TALIA CARLISLE

Spiky art: Plim­mer­ton artist Gay Kerr, right, sits with her sculp­ture Hester, in­spired by a book writ­ten by

Plim­mer­ton’s Daphne Bren­nan.

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