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So what is an Exquisite Bunny Corpse auction exactly? Chantelle, co-founder of ‘sweet & soutie’ lets us in on the details.

In a nutshell…
Cape Town design blog/collective/collaboration ‘sweet ‘n soutie’ started the Exquisite Bunny Corpse, a little project where all members contributed to creating and making collaborative designer bunnies, to be auctioned off to raise money to buy the things on the Skiereiland Maatskaplike Dienste’s wish list.

Where it all began…
‘Sweet & soutie’ is a creative network of local cape town designers, crafters, thing-makers, that Henriette and I (Chantelle) started, where we get together over coffee and good food, and chat, network and play. We meet every 6-8 weeks, and each ‘meeting’ has a theme.

The exquisite bunny corpse…
One of the themes was ‘with these small hands…’ – we can make a difference. We wanted to physically make a difference with our own hands by hand making something to raise funds for a charity. As all of our members so far are women, often with small kids, we all agreed that we wanted to choose a charity that supports babies or children

Inspired by the Dada movement’s ‘exquisite corpse’ idea, our idea was that as a design collaboration, we make designer bunnies. The bunnies started off as basic forms that got passed through the group and anyone who was keen added a little something, whether a face, tail, ears, scarf, jersey, teddy, etc. Each bunny had a very specific personality, and often a whole story to their background. The result is that each unique bunny was finished by at least 3 or more creatives, who physically added to the form as well as their particular story/ personality.

Each bunny also has a book of life, designed and handmade, in which every step in the creative process was documented. Each contributor got to write in the book, telling a little story or explaining what and why they added that particular detail, often adding little illustrations and/or fabric swatches etc.

Finally, with the help of ‘Haas Collective’ the bunnies will be auctioned off and the funds raised will be used to buy the things on our charity’s wish list. The auction takes place at Haas in Rose Street on Saturday, 5 May from 10:30am to 1pm and if you’d like to attend you’ll need to RSVP before 1 May to info@haascollective.com

Details can be found on Facebook or at the ‘sweet & soutie’ website

Introducing our bunnies…

  • Edna – our 70’s ‘haasvrou’, ready to cook and clean, with her bent ear and frilly apron, makes us all reminisce of our mothers and grandmothers with a tray full of rusks or cookies.
  • Freddie – the bunny who started it all. Freddie is our very camp bunny, ever so stylish in his waistcoat and bow tie.
  • Bruce – our not-so-bright Australian bunny, with his ‘skwiff’ little face, buck teeth, spectacles, belt and tie.
  • Reggie – our only recycled bunny, started out as a teddy bear from 3 years ago, was recycled into a ‘two-sided’ bunny. Initially a sad pathetic little soul, he was adopted and loved so much that he is now one of our favourites.

  • Schwe-etie – our youngest and sweetest little bunny, just had to be made with a piece of donated schwe-schwe fabric. With the face of an angel and her tiny toy bunny, she needs to be adopted and loved.

  • Conchita – stepsister to Hector; a Mexican bunny who ran away from home as a teenager and lived in the bush with the guerilla forces, she has a sweet heart, but knows how to handle her weapon and doesn’t take shit from anyone.
  • Hector – stepbrother to Conchita, living in Mexico; also has a kind soul, a strong religious background, and what he lacks in smarts he makes up for with his charitable inclinations to the aged.
  • Petronellatjie – our favourite little boeremeisie, crocheted and made with hand printed protea fabric, shows off those sexy legs with her lace bloomers and springbok fur heart.

  • Locos el Rabbirto – our Mexican wrestler bunny, inspired by the movie ‘Nacho Libre’, has all the makings of a star; with his embroided mask, boots and cape, and his fluffy sheepskin tail, he’s ready for the ring.

  • Paris – our oh-so glamorous bling bunny, spends long hours in the spa, wrapped in her monogrammed gown and slippers. Oh, the life of a kept bunny!

The charity and their wish list…
We made the decision that we’d rather make a big difference to a small charity than a little difference to a big charity. The challenge was to find one that was doing amazing things with little support or resources. Not exactly something that you can type into Google and get a list of! So we began by asking everyone we know, and everyone they know, and started getting feedback on all sorts of charities.

Eventually, one of our members, Tessa, suggested we contact a colleague, Katherine, who has adopted two kids already and was so moved by the charity that she is now personally involved. They are based in Elsiesrivier and are called ‘Skiereiland Maatskaplike Dienste’ (Peninsula Social Services), but are not well supported at all.

How they work is, they have a drop-off point or collect babies/kids that moms no longer want or are unable to care for. These “abandoned angels” are placed in one of two children’s homes and the charity begins the task of finding foster/adoptive care for them. The kids that ‘arrive’ at their office in Elsiesrivier are often very sick, filthy and starving, so the organisation makes sure they have a supply cupboard of essentials after which the babies/kids are often rushed off to the closest government hospital for treatment.

Their wish list is as follows:

  • Nappies – all sizes
  • Formula – Infacare
  • Wet wipes – any make
  • Baby toiletries – wash/shampoo, baby powder, bum cream, aqueous cream/soap
  • Baby clothes – all sizes
  • Furniture/accessories – changing mats, baths, prams, cots, camping cots etc
  • School stationery – pencils, rulers, rubbers, round tip scissors, exam pads, etc.

If you’d like to get involved, contact Henriette and Chantelle at sweetandsoutie@gmail.com

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