the mollusc & me

the mollusc & me is a theatrical plaster sculptural installation of an aquatic mammal, chair cushions and two female figures (the artist).


the mollusc & me explores metaphors for struggle over omnipotent forces, speculating what it would be like to confront a colossal leviathan.  
Inspiration for this piece came from contemplating a diet further up the food chain.  Imagine eating a Godzilla.  sea the mollusc & me explores the delicate relationship between anxiety and its cure – the state of mind that travels between self-protection and fear.

Physical description:

This tableau vivant is bizarre and dream-like. Suspended in time, the figures vacate the installation with a sculpture that is a cross between an organ and mollusc. There is tension between the figures and the Mollusc. 

Two figures display themselves nonchalantly with the surly sea creature.  The figures are replicas of the artists own body, in similar poses.  They retain their plaster whiteness and are covered cloth and underwear. 

By contrast, the sea creature is brightly-coloured and flamboyant. It is an aqua resin cast of a hand-made steel and papermache sculpture. It is red/fuschia and hangs over six feet tall.  Visual inspiration for the sea creature comes from unlikely sources ranging from architectural distortions, collage, reflected and refracted images. 

To emphasize a theatre in the round, stacks of casted pastel-coloured chair cushions haphazardly lie a few feet away surrounding the group.  The cushions invite the viewer to sit and engage in the spectacle, although it will not be physically comfortable.


Informing this work is the history of sea myth, ideas of the unknown and of marine legend.

the mollusc & me  is a study in dissimilarity; both in its formal elements (pure white vs. bright colour) and its content (aggression vs. passivity, spectacular vs. ordinary, mythical vs. human).  This installation involves interactions between witness and aggressor, hunter and target, normal and uncanny. 


© Nicole Shimonek 2018