Making a Mermaid

Making a Mermaid

Members of the public are invited to share their views on the design used for making a mermaid. It’s a new sea-inspired statue, to be located near North Pier.

Artist Laurence Payot wants the statue to be made for people living and working in Blackpool. She’s asking children, young people and the wider community to contribute ideas to the design.

Making a Mermaid

The statue will become a new local figure, inspired by sea goddesses and heroes across cultures, to be installed next year.

Playing with the long-standing traditions of magic and illusion, people will be unsure whether the artwork is a street performer disguised as a statue.

The Making of a Contemporary Mermaid
The Making of a Contemporary Mermaid?

Laurence also wants the statue to give a message of hope for the endangered global aquatic environment.

The model chosen for the cast will be a young woman from Blackpool. Laurence is on the lookout for a suitable female model who is passionate about the sea and the environment.

Marking a sea change

Blackpool Council has commissioned the project as part of the wider plans for the town centre regeneration. The public art will form part of the ongoing work taking place to update and modernise key streets in Blackpool. The improvement works include making the town centre more attractive to shoppers, residents and investors, as well as making Blackpool better for residents.

The contemporary mermaid statue will reflect on Blackpool’s achievements to improve the quality of the town’s sea water with all four of the beaches, South, Central, North and Bispham, receiving a Seaside Award earlier this year. This award honours the clean, safe, attractive and well-managed coastal stretch.

Public engagement

The artist has held a series of workshops and public engagement sessions with consultant Scott Farlow.

Fashion students from Blackpool and The Fylde College took part in a couple of workshops during the summer. Then in August, staff and volunteers from the Blackpool Beach Patrol Team participated in a creative consultation session with Laurence Payot to help design the artwork.

Members of Blackpool Beach Patrol with their ideas for making a mermaid
Members of Blackpool Beach Patrol with their ideas for making a mermaid

What do you think?

Laurence is now asking members of the public for suggestions. She wants to know what you think the character should look like and if it should have a key message.

Laurence said: “I am honoured to have been chosen to create a statue for Blackpool. I have spent the last month talking to people living and working in Blackpool, delivering creative sessions with local groups, schools and young people, to explore what a new contemporary sea character could look like.

“It will have a strong ‘made in Blackpool’ feel and become a symbol of protection for our endangered oceans. I would love to hear from anyone passionate about the Blackpool sea.”

Celebrating the sea

Cllr Kim Critchley, Blackpool Council’s Cabinet Assistant for Arts, said: “This is a fun opportunity for the people of Blackpool to get involved and come up with imaginative ideas for the creation of the final statue design. Blackpool is a vibrant town so we hope that this statue will become a talking point for residents and visitors alike.

“Our seaside resort is renowned for its golden coastline so it is very fitting that the design plans will celebrate the sea and our quality beaches.

“This project is all part of the council’s plan to revive the town centre and deliver a better Blackpool for everyone.”

What do you think the statue should look like? Email the artist on laurencepayot@yahoo.co.uk and please mention you saw it on Visit Fylde Coast! 

Please send your suggestions by 1 December.

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