Giant Slugs



We have had some strange jobs over the years and this is certainly one of them. Two giant leopard slugs slither around the main entrance of the Tate Britain. Blue and White LED lights across their bodies and along the walls of the Tate giving the effect of slime. British artist, Monster Chetwynd, was inspired by seeing leopard slugs mate on Life in the Undergrowth, a television documentary series by David Attenborough. The slugs slowly rotate together, dangling from the branch of a tree by a glittering rope of mucus. This night-time mating ritual reminds us that the darkness of winter can be a time of renewal and rebirth.

Scientists have recently developed lamps powered by bioluminescence (light produced by living organisms such as squid and fungi). Alternative energy interests Chetwynd, and she is excited by the idea that light-emitting organisms may one day power street lights. She wants the slugs, which are made from compostable materials, to be fun and to spark discussion about where we source our energy.

Previously known as Marvin Gaye Chetwynd and before that, Spartacus Chetwynd, Monster Chetwynd is best known for her irreverent and anarchic performances, paintings, sculptures and plays. This was no easy task either. As you can see they are not small. We used our vehicle named Oceanus which is a Direct Vision Standard and FORS Gold compliant 6 wheel rigid, fitted with a Fassi crane to collect and deliver the slugs. We of course did our usual route planning in preparation to make sure the delivery would be as smooth as possible.

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