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Delicious Monsters

Porky Hefer. It's a name that's been on the lips of many in the local and international design world of late. He’s the local man behind the giant weaver nests in the Company's Garden and at Babylonstoren farm, the yellow Table Mountain frames positioned around Cape Town and countless other projects and successes too. And now, finally, he has his first-ever, long-overdue solo show in South Africa. Titled Monstera Deliciosa Volume I, the dramatic exhibition, which opened last night (19 November) at the Southern Guild Gallery in Woodstock, is a unique delight because, as gallery co-owner Julian McGowan says, '[it] will offer South Africans the rare opportunity to see Porky's work in a way that international audiences have been viewing it for the past five years'. The display features six larger-than-life hanging seats (Porky's signature design) in the form of whimsical water creatures, and they're all so endearing, it's difficult to pick the best of the lot. Have a look below and let us know which is your favourite:

Joyce the Pufferfish

#porkyhefer #monstersdeliciosa #exhibition #capetown

A photo posted by Robin Sprong (@agentsprong) on

Crycodylus Eugenie the Crocodile

A photo posted by Robin Sprong (@agentsprong) on

Dora Esca the Anglerfish

Monstera Deliciosa #porkyhefer great launch last night well done #bff @southernguildgallery A photo posted by frank bohm studio (@frankbohmstudio) on

Pelicanus Iris the Pelican

(note Porky being eaten in the background)

M.Heloise the Manta Ray

(she's unfortunately a little too fat to fit in a picture)
Monstera Deliciosa #porkyhefer great launch last night well done #bff @southernguildgallery A photo posted by frank bohm studio (@frankbohmstudio) on

And last but not least, Behd the, well, behd

#porkyhefer talking turkey at his incredible #monstersdeliciosa #exhibition #capetown with #karenroos A photo posted by Robin Sprong (@agentsprong) on
Aside from giving a nod to nature and the need to protect it, these quirky creations also pay homage to traditional artisanal crafts. Each is carefully handmade from either leather or cane and features detailed stitching, weaving and splicing work. It's truly special to see old-school practices used to create such non-traditional works, and by doing this Porky has shown that these techniques still have a place in the contemporary design world. In addition, as the suspended structures are both art and functional pieces (you can actually sit in them), they blur the line between what constitutes design and what constitutes furniture – something Porky has done in many of his pieces. It’s a no-brainer that the exhibition is worth a visit simply to see such magnificent works in person, but it’s also worth a pop-in for the fully immersive experience it offers. Like the hovering animal seats themselves, the entire display is a multi-faceted sensory adventure. The walls of the gallery have been painted deep blue to give visitors the sense that they’re floating in a waterscape and local electro music guru Markus Wormstorm has put together an underwater soundtrack especially for the event. It’s a world you can get lost in, at least for a little while. The show runs from today (20 November 2015) until 5 February 2016 at the Southern Guild Gallery in Woodstock, which is open between 10am and 5pm from Monday to Friday and by appointment only on Saturdays. We highly recommend you go and see your favourite in person.