This is Pompini, who was named by/for Raffaele, a rich, lazy and funny Italian we met on a kibbutz in Israel back in the day. He’s an Emperor, 1.2m tall and a little bewildered – perhaps he’s just made the long journey back across the icefloes to his loved one but doesn’t recognise her in the crowd.
He’s made of various woods and chicken mesh as a base; a wallpaper, paper mache and cardboard exterior, painted with acrylics; and pingpong ball eyes. He taught me to ensure a solid foundation – he leaned forwards more and more as I packed his tummy with newspaper until I contemplated turning him into a skiing penguin. Instead I ripped his legs off and rebuilt his interior from below. Felt like helping with a birth. More oddness, but I cope.