It is even more perplexing when you do so because you'd quite like to hand them over some money.
So at the Melbourne Zoo, in the past and maybe even now, they used to have these life-sized elephant sculptures made from fluoro wire mesh.
In Plenty Road, there was a pet shop that had giant fluoro mesh sculptures out the front too.
Then, in The Age, in a tiny home decor feature in a Sunday supplement, there was a fluoro wire mesh deer head, courtesy a la Douglas and Hope.
So I jumped on my bike and rode to Brunswick Street, and sure enough, the walls of Douglas and Hope were lined with fluoro wire trophy heads. I was in heaven. A vegetarian household! With ironic trophy heads all over the walls! Ha!
So the artist was Tom Ripon. I went home and Googled him, and he shares the name with a famous American ceramic artist, and all in all he had NO INTERNET PRESENCE WHATSOEVER. (Except a mention in a couple of online corporate newsletters and the like.)
It nagged at me. Who is Tom Ripon? Can I buy a trophy head from him directly? How do I track him down? Is he in the phone book? No.
Anyway, we ended up putting the trophy head on our wedding registry and getting it (an orange reindeer head, although for ages I referred to it as the wildebeest with no clear concept of what a wildebeest looks like - for the record, nothing like a reindeer).
But I want MORE. Even though I will soon be a poverty-struck Masters student. I want another head.
Then, the other day, my Northcote-based friend had some startling news - HE HAD TRACKED DOWN TOM RIPON! While on a bus, my friend had passed a house with multitudes of neon wire mesh sculptures out the front. I an going to ride there tomorrow and case it out!