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Raqib Shaw

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In 2006, we were contacted by the artist Raqib Shaw and asked if we could set some gemstones in a lobster. It was a 3 dimensional version of a part of one of his paintings, featuring a man with a bird's head being sexually assaulted by a giant lobster. The initial version of the lobster was produced in CAD, unfortunately it was so bad that Raqib described it as "a fucking ciabatta" and almost cancelled the project. A new version was cast from an actual lobster and finally we were able to start work on our part of the project.

To begin with Russell painted the lobster to look like it was alive, and then Danila and Russell began encrusting it with gemstones. Initially given a month to complete the work, we were left with 8 days before it had to go on exhibition at the Tate Britain. We commandeered half of Raqib's assistants and in 8 insane days inserted 20,000 colour and size graded rubies, sapphires, emeralds and diamonds. We also had to install the sculpture in the Tate Britain, something we hadn't bargained on, but the project manager disappeared shortly after delivering it to the Museum, leaving us to complete the task.

A genuinely unique experience. Here are some pictures from the private view on the opening night.

Click on the images to enlarge.

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