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How would you transform this tortoise?

How would you transform this tortoise?

Wednesday 20 July 2022

How would you transform this tortoise?

Wednesday 20 July 2022

Are you an artist full of wild ideas? Then there's a new public art project you might just wish to get involved in.

Durrell is seeking both well-known and undiscovered artists to put forward a proposal on how they'd like to transform a giant fibreglass tortoise sculpture which will next summer become part of an island-wide art trail.

After the 'Tortoise Takeover' trail, which Express is official media partner, the giant tortoises will be auctioned to raise funds to build a new Tropical House at Jersey Zoo for the many species of threatened reptiles and amphibians looked after by Durrell’s expert team of herpetologists.

Each artist's design proposal will be shortlisted by a panel of local art experts working with the Tortoise Takeover team and the selected artworks will then be presented to the event sponsors, who will choose their favourite design for their tortoise.


Pictured: As well as the giant Tortoise Takeover, 'young tortoises' decorated by schools and community groups will be going on display in shop windows and other indoor locations across Jersey.

"After the success of Go Wild Gorillas in 2019, I’m hoping to see a wide range of designs, from those inspired by Durrell’s work with tortoises globally, the natural world, Jersey’s nature and heritage, tortoise characters from fiction, folklore and cultures around the world, to more abstract or contemporary designs, which cleverly use the canvas in unexpected ways,” said Artist Co-ordinator Will Bertram.

Durrell's Director of Communications and Fundraising, Alex Shears, reminded artists that getting involved provides artists with "unique, commissioned opportunities and the potential to establish relationships with businesses from all sectors as well as potential patrons."

"I can’t wait to see what incredible designs we receive from artists both in Jersey and further afield for our marvellous new tortoise sculpture,” she said.

As with the previous successful Go Wild Gorillas sculpture trail, Durrell worked with Wild In Art to design the sculptures.

Charlie Langhorne, Managing Director and Co-founder of Wild in Art added:“This is an exceptional opportunity for artists to help Durrell transform St Helier, as well as Jersey’s wild spaces into a fun, free art gallery next summer.

"I hope artists will be inspired by the wonderful tortoise sculpture, as well as the island’s magnificent landscapes, and will be part of this very special creative showcase.”

The closing date for entries is Tuesday 1 November 2022.


As official media partner for the Tortoise Takeover sculpture trail, Express will have all the latest information and insight on the artists involved, the trail and community events.

You can keep up to date by signing up to our free daily news email HERE and following our Instagram page, which will have exclusive and behind-the-scenes content.


To date, more than 30 giant tortoise sculptures have been sponsored by local businesses. Businesses of all sizes can still get involved in the trail by sponsoring a giant sculpture as well as a young tortoise sculpture for a school or community group. Find out more HERE.


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