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The Snuggles trilogy by Bristol artist Julian Quaye

in Art

'Mr Snuggles is Straight Outta Collompton' was one of Julian'a first pieces to be sold at auction alongside fellow Bristol boy Banksy at Dreweattes Urban Art Auction in 2012.

Quaye creates back stories for all the characters in his anthropomorphic paintings which live in a parallel world to ours.  He says:

'All the characters are vignettes who play a part in the much bigger story and have an effect on each other, just as we are all connected and all our actions have an impact. In the story, this includes  the paranoid, conspiracy theorist, survivalist, pamphleteering rabbit who becomes (in his world) what the activist  Anonymous is in ours – but without the computer technology. He becomes a figurehead to the movement.'

Of the character's story in his next Snuggles painting 'The Sad Demise of Mr Snuggles' Quaye writes:

'The Sad Demise of Mr Snuggles'

So read the headline of the provincial Collumpton Echo. After concerns were raised about the non appearance of Bill Burrows Lubetkin for one of his new moon speaking and distribution of pamphlet engagements at the Woodcutters Inn, a search party was dispatched. Many days passed before they came across the entrance to ‘Mr Snuggles’ secret abode.

Upon entry they found the aforementioned propped up in his bed quite dead with his pipe still in his mouth. The room was in a state of disarray and the air was thick with a strange heady sickly fug not the usual smell of Mr Lubetkin’s exotic tobacco. 

Snuggles next appears in his first iconic form in 'The Wild One - Mr Snuggles Rides Again'

Of his overall narrative Quaye says:

'Each characters' world mirrors our own, with the story commenting on what is happening without being too political. It depicts a reflection of this world which has gone completely bonkers, even if our world has actually gone completely bonkers at the same time. None of the characters are inherently good or bad but are flawed, like all of us and much like the characters in a James Elroy novel. They reside in past present and what could possibly be the future. I bring some elements from the first world war into the back-story – in my narrative, a great war has just happened and the story continues with what has happened afterwards. The idea is that the characters have returned to a country fit for heroes where the establishment has fallen very short of that.'

Julian is currently working on some new pieces for an exhibition next year including another appearance of Snuggles with more about his conspiracy theories.

Julian Quaye at 212 Productions

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