Fré Sonneveld

Berlin based Dutch designer.





Being a mere thirty centimeters high he towns right over you. Sitting down, standing up he keeps his air of importance. With a serious glance he seems to be inspecting the room, his room. 

I saw him sitting through the shiny reflection of a Bergen store window. The recognition was instant. Having spotted and admired his little brother before in a shop around the corner here in Berlin. His gaze made me enter the store. Coming closer I could see it was really him. His skin looks soft and smooth, but the grain betrays his solid form. I didn't dare lift him, due to his gaze as well as the horror of 0's on the Norwegian kroner price tag on his foot. 

My subconscious navigated me to the same part of town the next day. Passing by my heart skipped a beat, was he sold?! Upon entering this Scandinavian design Walhalla, with all its soft colours and sharp lines, he smiled at me. This time no procrastination. I made a beeline for him and in the same movement picked him up. Checking his foot my memory of currency conversion seemed to blank out. Marching over to the check out the lady behind the counter informed me that he's the last one. It was meant to be. Not having the official box she put in extra effort to wrap him up; bow and all.

The green blue x-ray image is burned on my retina. His arms lifted high above his head, he seemed to be shouting out: 'ooh ooh ooh eee eee eee aah aah aah' like a primal scream, just to show them that he was still in control. "Don't let the bow fool you, I'm ready to rumble", he seemed to shout. My bags passed through the border patrol and not more than silent looks were exchanged.

Now he spends his days on the corner of my desk. With his deep eyes and firm brow, his stare is often mystic, filled with danger. Depending on the person that dropped by last and couldn't take their hands of him, his posture is relaxed or aggressive, bored or attentive. The wood seems to absorb the mood. Today he looks a bit arrogant, like nothing really matters. Ah well, maybe he is just tired or a bit annoyed by me finding out his real name. Hanno the gorilla he is called, according his creators at Areaware: Like Hanno, the Greek voyager who discovered gorillas 2500 years ago, your Hanno is brave, strong, and curious. His powerful hardwood frame can hold many poses, and his elastic-band muscles and durable wood limbs make him almost impervious to breakage. Material: Beech Wood Dimensions - Hanno: 12 x 6.5 x 3.5 inches.

This says nothing, 'cause he isn't part of a series, he is just one. The last one. Mine. 


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