News / Art

Tate Britain finds itself surrounded by seasonally-attired slugs

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Tate Britain/Guy Bell

Most of you reading this will be looking forward to a break in the next few weeks. A proper break. You’ll probably already be daydreaming about sofas, snacks, and the sweet slumber of an afternoon nap.

You know what doesn’t sleep? Culture. Culture is like an essay-writing student hepped up on litre after litre of energy drink. Which is to say that as we begin the long process of unwinding, Tate Britain has just unveiled its final surprise of 2018: a pair of giant slugs.

Monster Chetwynd, the artist responsible for this incarnation of the institution’s annual Christmas commission, has delivered a twin-set of terrestrial gastropod molluscs. These ten metre long slugs are stuffed with recyclable hessian and wicker, and, according to The Guardian slugs are inspired by a David Attenborough documentary about the mating rituals of the slimy garden-dwellers.

“Monster’s commission is playful and anarchic but also engages with the major environmental challenges we face today,” says Alex Farquharson, Tate Britain’s director. He is, he says, looking forward to seeing the “giant leopard slugs lighting up the long winter nights and months.”

Most of us settle for a few fairy lights and a bit of tinsel but if you’re desperate for something original to drape in your living room come Christmas, maybe drop Monster a line.

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Tate Britain/Guy Bell