When Australian artist Fuzz E. Grant invited me inside her studio at 1890 Bryant St., a line of plaster bunnies confronted me with fierce, narrowed eyes.
Adorned with elaborate decorative accents — paper streamers, golden hair, shards of rainbow-colored plastic — they shared an unmistakable look of disapproval. That, Grant explained, is precisely the point of her latest project.
“I’ve been working on the theme of how animals feel in our environment,” she said. “And how animals are watching us and are disappointed in what we are doing.”
Grant has lived in the Mission for ten years and her artwork has long revolved around animal motifs. But it took a trip to see brown bears in Alaska a few years ago for her to fully appreciate the experience of animals in our increasingly human world.
“The bears came first,” she said. “And I realized that it was really profound to not be the species at the top of the food chain.”
“I was very anxious the whole time, and very aware. And I thought: This is what animals feel like in our environment.”
Since then, she has worked on her “Disapproving Bunnies” series to explore the natural world’s opposition to human encroachment. The decorations each bunny wears are made from materials scavenged from the Mission’s streets — “I feel like my scavenging is animalistic” — and often reflect elements of society that the furry critters dislike.
“I really like the dichotomy of this cute animal that is kinda evil,” Grant said.
“I guess my tagline is, ‘The animals are watching.’”