Animal rights’ groups in the Netherlands are angry about the newest work by the artist Tinkebell. She has glued coloured beads to the shells of more than 1,000 live snails. The snails will be part of an exhibition about animals at the VillaZebra children’s museum in Rotterdam.
“Ridiculous that living creatures are being used to amuse museum visitors, especially children,” said the director of the local animal protection society. It’s not the first time the artist’s work has caused controversy. Tinkebell (a pseudonym for Katinka Simonse) first hit the headlines in 2004 when she made a handbag made from her dead cat. Then in 2008 she exhibited 95 hamsters running non-stop in balls.
The decorated snails are to be part of an exhibition about animals called Ah, wat lief (Oh, how sweet). Jolanda Bouwman of VillaZebra said “We want to show that while people find many animals endearing, there are others that give them the creeps. By turning their shells into artworks, she makes the snails special and even gives them personality”.
The exhibition is due to open on Thursday. Click here to see video footage of the snails recorded by the artist.