Feeler

mOwson&M0wson | Title: feeler | Medium/Material(s): Latex, string, hangers, LED light strips, electronics. | Dimensions: 3m x 3m | Date: 2019 | Image courtesy mOwson&M0wson

Artist’s statement

After mating, the female Octopus carries her eggs inside her, sometimes for months, and when the conditions are right, she will expel the eggs. She then gathers the eggs into groups, sometimes stitching them into braids before adhering them to a surface.  While she might eat for a few days after laying her eggs, she then enters a period of fasting while she stays with the eggs: protecting, touching, fanning and grooming.  This period of care can be lengthy – the longest documented to date is over four and a half years.  During this time the changes to her body are visible, her skin loses colour and definition, and she will die shortly after the eggs hatch.  While octopuses are currently raised for food from hatchlings and by-catches of the fishing industry, research is underway to fully intensify octopus farming – from mating to meat