Royal William Yard | The Squiggly Wiggly Giant Squid

The Squiggly Wiggly Giant Squid

Date: Sun 6th May - Sun 30th Sep

Time: 09.00 - 20.00

After a long journey from deep beneath the sea, our playful Giant Squid has made it's home here at the Yard and has brought some friends.

The Giant Squid is an interactive and acoustic installation through which people can communicate (speak & hear) with each other. It radiates light to offer a surprising element at night.

Cast your net and see if you can capture its six sea creature friends that have escaped the harbour and are playing hide and seek.

Collect your free trail passport from any cafe and restaurant in the Yard, find all its friends and collect six letters to spell a nautical word and claim your reward.

Have fun explorers! The Squiggly Wiggly Squid will be on the lawn from May until September.

This vivid-red, epic sea creature is a striking, acoustic installation, by an award-winning European art collective. Truly interactive, families can speak into the tentacles and eyes of the sea creature, which carries the sound into the centre of the structure. 

Crossing the ocean from its original birthplace of the Azores in Portugal, the Giant Squid was originally inspired by mythical landscapes and magical tales like Moby Dick and 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. These tales influenced artistic collective, Moradavaga, who designed the sea creature, to serve as both a piece of public art and a communicative tool for children and families. 

Moradavaga is an award-winning and acclaimed artistic collective based in Italy and Portugal, and it will be the first time their work has been seen in the South West. Plymouth’s newest resident – the Giant Squid – was an idea born from the collaboration of architects Manfred Eccli and Pedro Cavaco Leitão. Established in 2006, Moradavaga works with vacant spaces and derelict buildings to create engaging, performative objects. 

Hailey Cattle, Marketing Manager for Royal William Yard, said, “We are delighted to welcome the Giant Squid to Royal William Yard, it is going to be an incredible spectacle and great family fun. We wanted to bring the lawn – a public space – alive for families through the day and create an incredible sight at night. With the help of and renowned international artists, we are creating something unique in Plymouth and bringing a beautiful space alive in a creative and exciting way, which is very much the spirit of all that we do at the Yard.”   

The fun doesn’t stop with the Giant Squid this summer; to further capture the imagination of visitors, families can hunt for the squid’s six friends by following a trail around the Yard. A grade 1 listed ex-naval victualling yard, regenerated by Urban Splash, Royal William Yard boasts many nooks and crannies, perfect for an exciting sea creature hunt! Playing with the Giant Squid and taking part in the trail are both free activities. 

Designed by illustrator Jack Viant; graduate from Plymouth College of Art, explorers receive a map and passport to find the Giant Squid’s six friends. Once located, adventurers must make a note of the letter each creature is holding and use it to spell out a six-letter word. On completion of the trail, armed with the secret six letter word, participants can then make way to any of the cafés or restaurants to claim their prize.