“Pixies of the Night”
Zimbabwe last summer, we were guests in the home of
internationally recognized silver sculptor Patrick Mavros. Of
the many adventures we experienced on our trip, most of them
paled to the delightful encounter we had each evening when the
family’s pair of pet Lesser BushBabies joined us during the
referred to by their native nickname as “Pookies”, these tiny
elf-like creatures would spring around the room like ping-pong
balls. Raised by hand after being rescued as tiny babies
following a fierce storm, we became their nightly playground.
From our shoulders to the chandelier and back again, springing
8-10 feet in a single leap, they were totally captivating. The
smallest of primates, they have enormous reddish eyes, big ears,
fur that feels like chinchilla and legs with an extra joint for
leaping. Inquisitively prying under curtains for insects or
walking about on their hind legs looking all the world like
Yoda, their intelligence was apparent.
creatures of the night, the BushBabies presented a special
challenge to me and my medium. The only way to design a
nocturnal setting for them was to produce a fully darkened
background……one dot at a time. Amazingly, the effect created by
the tens of thousands of dots (they took me 2 months to
complete) is actually more veil-like than a solid mass of black
would have rendered. A surprise and a reward for my patience.