Given the time of year, chances are, if you told your friends you saw two 8m slugs flying above the skies of Chelsea, they'd think you'd had a few too many drinks at the office Christmas party. But this is exactly what happened earlier this week as we were brought on board by Tate Britain to help install their seasonal decorations. Christmas trees and baubles are "So last year". Winter 2018 is all about slugs.
Every year, Tate Britain commissions an independent artist to come up with a scheme for its Winter decorations. This year it was the turn of artist Monster Chetwynd, whose gastropod inspired artwork also includes swathes of blue and white LED slug trails across the facade of the building. The Turner Prize nominated artist took inspiration from Sir David Attenborough's 2005 nature series Life in the Undergrowth. The piece also reflects "her interest in alternative energy sources and the idea that we may one day use bioluminescence to light city streets."
So, who better than Unusual for this very unusual installation. Meeting with the team back in October, Sam Carter was shown a concept video of two slugs mating (and wondered what on earth he was getting himself into). From that, he produced a series of drawings and designs and a solution for how to install the slugs at the museum's entrance. He was also involved in making a giant lighting net to go over the front of the building.
Using a crane to fly the slugs into  position, Sam and the team positioned the festive molluscs (one 8m x 1.5m and the other 7m x 2m) on a plinth and at the entrance and fastened them securely in place. The snails will adorn the front of Tate Britain until the end of February.


 

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