Installation for Art in the Garden 2008

Sir Harold Hillier Gardens Hampshire SO51 0QA England

The Parallel World

Location: The NIDOS/NESTS were installed at the Hillier Gardens from May to October 2008 between the stream and the Magnolia tree.

Material: Stainless Steel wire 1.2mm.

Sizes: 10 pieces varying from 10cm to 60cm in diameter.

Technique: Hand woven in one piece. The growth of the object originates in its rim. The cavity is created first. Through a series of loops, the NEST is woven in layers following a spiral movement.


At the end of the show, despite the frequent rain, the steel was still shining and I found young snails living inside the objects. They had found a home attracted maybe by the geometry of the NESTS that hold a similarity to their own shell.

The Dance of the Snails

“The surface of the visceral sac and the mantle fold are firmly connected to the collar of the shell and are producing the chalk for the surrounding, protective shell. The growth of the shell originates in this collar. Through a hole at the brink of the mantle cavity, the respiratory hole, the lung is taking in air from the outside. The sexual organs are built up in a very complicated way. Roman snails are hermaphrodites, and this means that each animal is furnished with male and female organs. Fertilisation is carried out mutually between two animals.”

“Under favourable weather conditions the animals’ winter rest is ending in April already when they are creeping around between the fresh green plants. In end-May the mating season starts. The mating is preceded by a love play lasting for hours. As two snails are meeting they will mutually touch their tentacles and the mouth. Gradually they are getting into an upright position by bracing their soles against each other. Before the actual copulation the love dart is ejected from the copulatory hole; this is a needle-shaped structur and consists of calcium carbonate. It serves as an incentive for the partner. The peak of the dart will protrude into the skin at any point. The hit partner falls back, but after the pain has vanished it gets upright again and in turn ejects a love dart. After a period of rest the two animals will continue their love play until their mutual fertilisation.”*

*Excerpts from Biology / The Helicidae family. Deutsche Schneckenzucht Nersingen.

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