slakkenmeisje | slug girl

Snails 'n' Slugs

Regifted Light is the new album from the inimitable Baby Dee. Her peculiar voice and compositions may not drift very far down main stream, but outsider aficionado Christina de Vos immediately took a liking and was pleasantly honored when Dee asked her to make the album art.

This series of drawings and paintings was made at the same time as the album’s recording sessions and therefore doesn’t respond as usual to a finished work of art, urging Christina to silently think along with the creative process of a fellow artist. This quiet collaboration proved to be very inspiring: from rough cuts and recording session photographs, plus a very Christina-like, very thorough exegesis of Dee’s back catalogue, an intimate relationship ensued between art and music.


Both Christina de Vos and Baby Dee – who is a classically trained harpist – draw inspiration from the breadth of Western culture, but these works take their cues predominantly from Dee’s love of gastropods, as displayed in the title track and the song of Brother Slug And Sister Snail.

Snails and slugs are yet another addition to Christina’s ambiguously iconographic bestiary that already features birds and dogs, flies and butterflies, soon to be joined by bees. What do we make of all these critters? The avians and canines are surely evildoers, bullies dressed up as animals à la homo homini lupus est, while the insects are somehow linked to death and remembrance, to memory and lingering. But slugs? Snails?

“Regifted light” is the unmerciful light of the sun, transfigured into moon glow, reflected from the gleaming naked bodies of slugs. Like skimpy slip dresses Christina’s slugs slither upwards to clothe our vulnerable nakedness, while her brittle-shelled snails are engaged in precarious juggling acts. The fragile gastropod is compassionate and deserving of compassion: the dual nature of this hermaphrodite cannot be pinpointed to an unequivocal iconography. A slug is a slug is a slug is a slug – and most of the times a snail is just a snail.


A four-part introduction to the works of Christina de Vos

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