WARNING: NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH
EVERY now and then we stumble across something so curious, so intriguing and just so batty that we can’t resist popping along with a camera, sticking our nose in and getting our hands dirty. This time around it was skinning and stuffing mice– little white ones. N’aww.
Now, heading to a class in taxidermy, you expect to find a bunch of fairly odd folk, you know, like Barry from Dinner for Schmucks or maybe Hannibal Lecter types. Someone that looks like they’d enjoy skinning things essentially.
But before you start (and you were going to) all the mice are sourced from reptile feed stockists, so they’re dead anyway and have been bred in order to feed the likes of snakes, lizards, birds called Kes and John Prescott.
This is about preservation (funny cutesy preservation but preservation nonetheless), and let’s be honest, if it’s the choice between being fed to a 7ft diamondback rattlesnake or preservation of a humorous manner, dead or not, I’d still take the teeny tiny top hat and miniature pipe thank you very much. Then again I’m not a mouse… at least I don’t think I am.
So off we trotted down to MadLab on NQ’s Edge Street (across the road from Common bar), a 1000 sq. ft. nerd-haven nestled between the hipster bars of the city’s beatnik district. “We’re here for the geeks, the artists, the hackers, the innovators and idle dreamers,” explains Director of MadLab, Rachael Turner. “It’s a really unique space. Where else could you find mouse taxidermy, projection mapping, North Korean dissidents and 72 community groups, from technology to jewellery-making, all under one roof?”