As part of its Christmas decorations, Tate Britain has commissioned an artist to design two giant slugs to sit outside the art gallery.

Art is weird.

The British artist, Monster Chetwynd made the giant slugs from compostable materials and they are illuminated by LED rope lighting and accompanied by swathes of blue and white LED slug trails across the façade of the building.

The artist says that she took inspiration from a David Attenborough nature documentary, Life in the Undergrowth, which revealed the mating rituals of leopard slugs. In order to reproduce, these slugs slither up a tree and dangle on a glittering thread of slime, typically in darkness, entwining tube-like growths from their heads which glow blue as they mate.

While that explains the art at any other time, it’s still an odd thing to put out for Christmas.

Or maybe it’s the unexpected start of a custom which will culminate in hundreds of years time with Christmas trees across the country decorated with “traditional” slug decorations.

Chetwynd hopes to show that even supposedly repulsive creatures can be transformed into something wonderous.

The slugs will be in place until the 25th February 2019.

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One comment
  1. Megan says:

    Wonderful! A great change from reindeers and robins, which might be associated with winter, but have no greater claim on Christmas itself than do, well for example, leopard slugs. Here in Sydney Australia, leopard slugs frequent our compost bins and regularly raid our kitchen at night for fruit. Who could begrudge these large, spotty, purposeful creatures. Thanks for telling us about Monster Chetwynd’s sculpture, but I wish we could see it in person.

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