By Nathalie Bonney
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To celebrate 150 years since the author’s birth, some of author Beatrix Potter’s most famous characters have been given a 21st century, urban makeover.
Acclaimed street artist Marcus Crocker created six miniature figures, no bigger than 17cm in height, and then placed them in iconic settings around London - far away from their natural countryside habitat in the Lake District.
Like any self-respecting tourist on a visit to the English capital, Peter Rabbit uses a selfie stick to capture his best angle in front of the London Eye, as well as taking gelfies (group selfies) with his various animal friends.
Worthy of any fashion mag’s street style pages, Jemima Puddleduck heads to the market to snap up a bargain faux fox fur coat - a reference to the character’s near untimely end at the hands of the Foxy Whiskered Gentleman in Potter’s book.
And with a tie-dyed headscarf and protest banner, Squirrel Nutkin is given a hippie makeover. Calling for equality among the squirrel population, red squirrel Nutkin is photographed in key grey squirrel territory St James Park.
The smallest of all the characters, Mrs Tittlemouse is just 6.5cm tall. She uses a leaf blower to keep the front of her smart Chelsea house spic and span – in an area close to what was Beatrix Potter’s own London home.
Mrs Tiggy-winkle meanwhile has swapped the wooden washing basins for a city launderette, complete with a flat screen TV showing The Apprentice, while she waits for the loads to finish.
Jeremy Fisher takes some time out, fishing for minnows in a puddle in front of the Houses of Parliament, while listening to music (or The Tale of Mr Jeremy Fisher audiobook).
It took artist Marcus 140 hours to create the six diminutive clay figures.
He began the process by forming a wire armature base, around which he sculpted layers of air-drying clay. The multiple layers of sculpting and drying allowed for a high level of accuracy and detail.
He then sealed the figures with waterproof glue before finishing off with acrylic paint.
Marcus said: “Understanding the anatomy of each animal was very important to me – Beatrix Potter felt the same.
"Balancing this desire for accuracy against making sure each figure remained true to her work was a huge challenge, but a thoroughly enjoyable one, and I hope everyone enjoys the results.”
The figures will go on display at Waterstones Piccadilly for the whole of July.
Visit www.peterrabbit.com to find out more and follow @beatrixpotter on Twitter to hear Peter Rabbit share his journey from the Lake District to London by train #littleadventure.