Even if you see pet mice occasionally in your veterinary practice, noticing one as you’re walking down the street likely makes you jump away in panic. Wayfarers in Malmö, Sweden, jump for joy at the sight, thanks to the work of a group of local artists who have been creating street scenes scaled to mouse size.
(Many more mouse scenes ahead, keep reading ...)
Gadget, one of the members of the group Anonymouse who crafts the scenes, says they are inspired by stories from the Swedish children’s author Astrid Lindgren (Pippi Longstocking, anyone?) and Beatrix Potter as well as Walt Disney and Don Bluth movies. “We believe that at some point, most children like to imagine that there is a world parallel to ours wherein small animals live quite like we do but using things that we have lost,” she says.
Gadget jokes that Anonymouse is “a loosely associated network of mice and men.” They originally came up with a list of 10 scenes they’d like to create and started with the nut shop, Noix de Vie, and an Italian bistro, Il Topolino (Mickey Mouse’s moniker in Italian), back in March 2016, working in earnest to finish in December. The scene is installed at the foot of a building on Bergsgatan, a major street in Malmö.
Although none of the artists has ever had a pet mouse or rat, they chose this much maligned creature out of good will. “We love all kinds of animals, and the mice and rats have a bit of a bad rep, so it's nice to do something for them,” says Gadget.
This may not be your first exposure to these rodential creations since photos of the project have been shared around the Internet from Anonymouse’s Instagram account. “We thought that maybe a couple of pedestrians would walk past it and it would brighten their day, but suddenly we're all over Europe, and beyond!” says Gadget.
Be sure to follow the continuing adventures of Anonymouse_mmx on Instagram. In the meantime, we can all tap into our inner child’s imagination as we picture the real mice of Malmö coming to socialize and chow down while the rest of the city sleeps.