Unusual Christmas decorations at Tate Britain
Tuesday, 18 December 2018
tateGastropod inspired artwork
UK - 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 month as Unusual Rigging was brought on board by Tate Britain to help install their seasonal decorations.
Sam Carter, Unusual's rigging project manager, says: "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 bio-luminescence to light city streets".
Sam continued: " We first met with the team at Tate Britain back in October, where we were shown a concept video of two slugs mating (and wondered what on earth we were getting ourselves into). From that, we produced a series of drawings and designs and a solution for how to install the slugs at the museum's entrance. We were 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.
Sam concludes: "Once again it has been a pleasure to work with Tate Britain on their seasonal decorations. This is certainly one of the wackiest ones we've been involved with - but the result, while not traditionally festive, looks fantastic."
(Jim Evans)

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