Inauguration - Purple Shell - Lindholmspiren, Gothenburg - 23 May 2024


Bigert & Bergström’s latest public artwork, Purple Shell will be inaugurated on Thursday, the 23rd of May, between 17.30 and 19.00. The work was commissioned by Familjebostäder, located at Miraallén neighbouring Familjebostäder’s building at Lindholmspiren, Gothenburg.


Inauguration schedule: 

17.30 – Mingle with refreshments and snack

17.45 – Inauguration speech by Familjebostäder and introducing the artists

17.55 – Bigert & Bergström presents the concept and thoughts behind the artwork

Ribbon cutting and mingling with music


Purple Shell is a hundred times enlarged replica of the Purple Snail’s shell of the genus Nucella, commonly found in the West Sea. The sculpture’s shell is made of a purple mirror plate, which not only mirrors its surroundings but also reflects on them its noble shade. The surface casts back the weather and light conditions as well. In doing so the work can be interpreted as a part of a larger discussion about climate change.
In line with increasing carbon dioxide emissions, the sea has long functioned as a sink for this gas. This means that the sea is becoming increasingly acidic, which makes it more difficult for aquatic animals to build shells. The corrosive properties of the water increase the risk of damaging the snails’ shells.
Climate research studies analysed how the shells build up over time and what is the chemical composition of the different layers. The shell consists of calcium and magnesium, which expand daily with a small layer. In this “day ring” a lot of information is coded, e.g. the climate’s temperature, which can be determined by measuring the day ring’s magnesium content. By studying shells of the genus foraminifera, the researchers have seen the biological event horizon. It is now over 200 million years back in time.