A giant squid emerged on the shores of Portugal’s Ponta Delgada, but don’t worry—it’s a sea creature that’s more playful than terrifying. Artist collective Moradavaga created “Vernie,” a giant cartoon-like squid made from bright red tubes. The annual Walk&Talk festival commissioned the interactive artwork for the Azores’ São Miguel Island.
Created for the sixth annual public arts festival of the Azores, the character of Vernie was inspired by the vibrant sea life in the Atlantic Ocean. Moradavaga writes: “Influenced by the stunning landscapes and the mystic aura related to all that concerns whale hunting (in the past) and observation (in the present) our mind wandered through old tales like Moby Dick, by Herman Melville, and 20.000 Leagues Under the Sea, by Jules Verne, and the presence of sperm-whales along the Azores coasts led us to devise a character, “Vernie” the giant squid, that came from the depths of the ocean to serve as a communicative playful tool for passersby of all ages at Portas do Mar in the city of Ponta Delgada.”
Made with long red tubes, Vernie the giant squid sprawls out across a green park with a length of 15.55 meters. The mantle with the head measures 1.9 meters in height and features two empty “eye-holes” large enough for visitors to stick their head through. The tentacles are extended in different directions and wrap around nearby objects, from a wire sculpture to trees. The site-specific sculpture was installed in July 2016.
Images via Moradavaga