by Katharine Fry
Sunday morning began with a whimper and a reprieve. Discovering it wasn’t the day for my sculpt-your-face-out-of-a-play-d’oh-mask performance, I dragged my 20 mile hike exhausted body to Rich Mix to play with Slinkachu at his Global Model Village book launch. Slinkachu – neither diminutive nor Japanese nor female – is the London-based street artist who makes little scenes out of little people; you might remember a swimming pool coke can scene or a teeny fisherman over a drain.
Well, today it was our turn. In a workshop led by the fabulous Debbie Daniel and Louise Batten from Craft Guerrilla, we were given pipe cleaners and plasticine galore with mini animals, soldiers and freeze-dried bees to let our urban imaginations run riot.
Some competitive twiddly fiddly moulding and making later – I went straight for the eco-global message: oil starts wars, kills penguins and makes camels perform in tacky cabarets – and we were prompted to hit the streets to shoot our works in situ, using our chosen sites to complete the work. One peek at the outdoor deluge and my newfound friend Téra and I hit the basement for an extended photo shoot with bubble wrap, light fittings, CCTV cameras and light switches (it brings it back to the oil y’see). Leaving our work for others to discover à la Slinkachu, we grappled with modern technology to get our shots on twitbook and headed back upstairs for the judging and open bar.
I was not a winner but methinks many among us had pre-planned their work and, possibly, practiced. This is not sour grapes, of course. Afterwards, I had a chance to have a word with the man himself. Slinkachu – so named for his slinky-like curly hair and work on Japanese anime figures, was once an art director having some fun with railway figures on the side. Now he travels the world with his girlfriend in tow – not always as romantic as it might seem after 5 hours of trying to find the perfect storm drain – is represented by London gallery Andipa, and is keen to find out how you would respond to his work: using whatever materials you fancy, create your own scene and tweet #slinkachuglobal. You can win a second signed, numbered copy of the book with enclosed print, plus a grand prize, yet to be revealed!