Nicole explained that these four sea slugs represent her family: mom, dad, her sister and herself. Maria selected this photo because the immediate family is a great metaphor for biological taxonomies!
You can see some family similarities between all four slugs. For example, they all have cerata – spiky growths up top. Cerata help slugs absorb oxygen from water. Some slugs also swallow stinging cells from animals and pass them live to the tips of the cerata. There, cells continue to grow and defend the slug.
Children’s art usually has both symbolic and representational sides. Nicole’s sculpture is symbolic, because slugs are symbols for Nicole’s family. But it’s also representational, because they do look like Nudibranch animals and you can even identify features such as cerata.
Here is Nicole’s interview about oceans:
- Do your sea slugs have names or titles?
- Yes. The mom (with the purple bottom) is Erin, the dad (with the red bottom) is Ryan, the one with purple eyes is Hannah, and the one with yellow eyes is Nicole.
- Did you model your sea slugs off a real one or create them out of your imagination?
- I used a combination. I tried to use a model at first but added elements from my imagination as well.
- What is your favorite thing about your sea slugs?
- I like their interesting colors and shapes. They are very different from other sea creatures I’ve seen.
- What is your favorite sea creature?