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The Black Diamond Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen

By |May 16th, 2013|

About 2 miles from the world-famous statue of The Little Mermaid in Copenhagen’s Langelinie Park is another mermaid statue.

The Smaller Mermaid Statue

The Smaller Mermaid Statue. Photo © Sigfrid Lundberg – CC BY-SA.

This bronze mermaid statue was unveiled on May 5th in 2009 by the Royal Library on the wharf in front of the Royal Library building, known as The Black Diamond (Den Sorte Diamant).

Even though installed in 2009, the statue was created by sculptor Anna Marie Carl-Nielsen in 1921, just eight years after Edvard Eriksen created the statue of The Little Mermaid.   It was originally exhibited at  The Free Exhibition (Den Frie Udstilling) in Copenhagen.

The original white plaster cast exists today at Funen Art Museum (Fyns Kunstmuseum), and as a bronze cast which Statens Museum for Kunst (the Danish National Gallery) bought from the artist for 4500 kroner after the exhibition in 1922.

See more photos and information on the Black Diamond Mermaid Statue page.

Cate Vail – Mermaid Photographer

By |May 11th, 2013|

Cate Vail has made a profession and career of mermaid photography.  It all started with visiting a museum with a large mermaid statue in New Jersey.  I asked Cate to a write about it here on the Mermaids of Earth blog:

by Cate Vail

Beginnings:
Cate with Grandmother and Mermaid.

Cate with Grandmother and Mermaid.

Mermaids have always been a part of my life. As a child, growing up on the East Coast of New Jersey, one of my earliest memories was visiting a museum that had a huge mermaid statue at the entrance.

I remember being amazed by that, and asking the grown ups in my life, if mermaids were real. I was told that they were imaginary, a lot like fairies, only they lived in the sea.

My grandmother bought me the Hans Christian Andersen classic, “The Little Mermaid”, a book that stood the test of time, for not only was it my favorite bedtime story, but it was also a pivotal pictorial outlet that influenced my creative artwork.

I began to draw mermaids, first as sketches, than graduated to painting them in art classes at school. I used to wrap my Barbie dolls in tin foil with the shape of a mermaid tail. I played with them in the bathtub, and even cut their hair, because of the story. I also played mermaid dress up with my sisters, and re-enacted the scenes from the book. I had my own mermaid tail that mom helped me make, and day-dreamed about becoming a real mermaid.

Swimming, building sand castles, beach scavenging were activities very enjoyable to me, and still are.

My family moved to Victoria, BC, Canada after my father started a new job as a Political Science teacher at University of Victoria. We lived in a house near the ocean, and I didn’t know it at the time, but Victoria is considered to be the “Mermaid Capital of Canada”.  Mermaid inspired statues, artwork, stores, and island living were the backdrop to my further exploration of mermaids.

Local folklore in Victoria rumored actual sightings of mermaids in the late 1960’s, and early 1970’s. News clippings from that era document several sightings up and along the coastlines, bays, and inlets of Vancouver Island, BC. Many stories were told about the probable existence of a pod of mermaid creatures that were actually photographed by local fishermen. This was all very dramatic for me, as I spent many years reading novels, researching mermaids, and other mythological creatures.

I was beginning to believe that they truly must exist. I spent a huge amount of time at a beach, Cadboro Bay, which was walking distance from my house. By the time I was 10; I had my own Polaroid camera, and became very interested in photography. I knew that if I could get an actual picture of a mermaid, people would have to believe. I never did get to capture a mermaid on film, but I sure thought they were still out there somewhere. I used to swim with a huge log to keep me afloat, in search of mermaids, ever watchful, but to no avail.

As I grew, my teenage years interrupted the fanciful daydreams of mermaids.  High school brought new challenges, new friends, and an insistence on fact and reality. Scientific method was learned, mathematical probability, and statistics. Mermaids didn’t quite fit within that realm, so I put mermaids aside and focused on being a teenager. I had an exciting teenage life full of wonderful experiences that I credit to having both parents as school teachers.

My photography was becoming increasingly important as an outlet for my creative natural personality. I even took the photographs for my high school yearbook, and was co-editor of the yearbook my graduation year. My father and mother both encouraged participation in the arts, but it was my mother who inspired me to study art and humanities in college.

“Splash” and Photography

Daryl-Hannah-as-Madison-in-the-film-Splash-1984Mermaids became an important pastime in my little daughter’s life, not unlike her mother; she had quite the penchant for the story, “The Little Mermaid”. However, Disney made the popular classic into a cartoon movie, and commercialism being what it is, came out with dolls, figurines, and all kinds of memorabilia that circled the globe making “Ariel”, an iconic figure in mainstream American culture.

We collected “mermaidabilia”, and had an epic moment. The actual Ariel character from Disney visited Tacoma Mall in the early 1990’s, and we were part of that event. My husband’s mall that he managed sponsored the event, and I took pictures of my daughter and her friends meeting mermaid Ariel. Samantha even had the opportunity of sitting on her lap, having her “Little Mermaid” jersey signed by the illustrious mermaid at the opening ceremonies.

The movie, “Splash”, starring Daryl Hanna, and Tom Hanks came out in full glory in 1984. I saw it on the big screen at the theatre, and purchased the movie for my VCR when it came out later. The realistic mermaid tail was incredible looking. I really enjoy this particular film for its comedic tale, and the underwater photographic scenes that are vibrantly unforgettable for mermaid enthusiasts.  The mermaid bath tub scene is my favorite part of the movie. Most of my photography during this timeframe was landscape, nature, and children, for; I was a mother of 3 growing young children and documented their every movement.

My career as an assistant buyer for Allied Department stores aided my abilities, and lead to an exciting position in advertising where I was trained to photograph product, learned branding (before it was called that), and how to network in my field. Photography of jewelry displays, and accessories for major ad campaigns became my specialty, and I settled into writing ad copy for 40+ stores.

It was not until what I term, a “happy accident”, that I even thought of mermaids again. I had photographed a model wearing a long wool blend scarf by Vittadini for a bill insert mailer. The scarf was a beautiful bold purple, with lilac embellishments on the ends. The scarf had been wrapped around the model’s legs, and upper torso. In the development process, somehow the negative had been damaged, and the resulting prints were unusable because of blurring. The blurred image reminded me of a mermaid tail, so without knowing it, I had taken my first mermaid photo totally by accident. Little did I know that in the future I would be photographing mermaids, and meeting some famous mermaids from around the globe.

Desert Mermaids / Sirens Photography

Many people have said, “Do what you love with a passion, and everything else will fall into place”; I attest that is absolutely true. My first mermaid photo shoot in Nevada actually wasn’t even my idea. A local model that I was working with wanted to do a fantasy character photo shoot for her portfolio. Her grandmother designed for her a goldfish looking mermaid tail, and she asked me to photograph her. I networked with another photographer that knew a few models, and we all decided to make it a group mermaid photo shoot.

Mermaids among us

South Lake Tahoe has a beautiful place called Zephyr Cove that looks like an ocean coastline with its giant monolith rocks, spurs, blue water, and sandy beach front. The first shoot was done there, with a barbeque, and camp out at the adjoining campsites near the lake. It was such a magical looking scene with mermaids perched on rocks, and the beautiful sunset bursting through the sky. Onlookers had quite a treat that day at Tahoe. It’s not everyday that you see mermaids, especially at Lake Tahoe.

Betty JoMy photographs were noticed by a mermaid tail vendor, Jerilyn Winstead, an entrepreneurial guru that had started her own business a few years prior to our actual meeting. Her company, Aquatails, is a mermaid tail, and accessories based business that designs tails for all ages, not just children. Her website wanted to feature my work, so I agreed, and pretty soon I was photographing for Aquatails as a regular team member. I purchased many of the tails, and began looking for models to wear new tail designs that Jerilyn had designed.

I found many women, children, and men that were interested in posing in a mermaid tail for websites, and for an international mermaid magazine, “ Mermaids and Mythology”.  I have a growing collection of mermaid tails and love to make that transition into Mermaid Cate at each photo shoot.  I encourage all the models to come up with alter-mer ego names: ( Aqualina, Mermaid Aura, Coralina, etc…)

Cate Mermaid Birthday PartyI met other mermaid photographers that had their own business models, and soon devised my own, “Sirens Photography”. I specialize in mermaid fantasy driven photos shoots and frequently use the beauty of Lake Tahoe as my backdrop. I am also an event photographer and take photos of celebrities, concerts, red carpets, and special events in Reno, Tahoe, Las Vegas, and Florida.

Last year I had the opportunity to combine both while attending the First Annual Merpalooza Mermaid Convention in Orlando, Florida. I photographed famous mermaids like, Hanna Fraser, Medusa Marina the Fire Eating Mermaid, Maui Merman, Thom Shouse (the designer of the Splash Mermaid tail for the movie, Splash), Eric Ducharme, the Mertailor, Traci Hines, ( The Little Mermaid Ariel) and many more. I am now very well known for my mermaid photography, and my mermaid persona. I have quite a following on facebook, and know many mermaid enthusiasts, designers, and merfolk from around the globe.

mermaids heart us

In April 2013, I was interviewed by Channel 2 News Neda Iranpour about Sirens Photography and my book, Mermaids Among Us, and my calendars that I put out seasonally. I have additionally been interviewed on Spreecast programs, Orlando Sentinel News for Merpalooza (video segment), and my work was shown on “The Today Show” (AquaTails segment with Jerilyn Winstead). Just recently I was interviewed on a popular weekly radio talk show in Reno, Nevada as a guest speaker for “Integrity Casting Call on Broadview 101.3 FM Talk Radio.

Mermaids are definitely a trending pop culture phenomena that I think will hold fast and strong for many years to come. Many people ask me why Mermaids have become such a trend to which I must say…. “It’s a voice, a movement if you will both ecologically based , and psychologically a pursuit of transformation, a becoming of one with the sea environment through conservation efforts.”( Cate Vail, 2013).

Many famous mermaids have joined causes, or are the founders of charitable organizations to better the plight of marine animals that coexist on the planet. I believe that the duality of the mermaid: half human, half fish symbolizes our stewardship and accountability with the planet.  Hannah Fraser is one mermaid who agrees with me:

Mer Cate'

Just recently, Feb, 2013, Hanna Fraser made a video about Manta Rays with Blue Sphere Media: “Manta Ray of Hope Campaign” . The video captures the beauty and intimacy of an encounter with manta rays, a dwindling, and threatened species that are being slaughtered for their gills for medicinal tonics in China and Asia.  There are many other examples of mermaids stepping up, and embracing a cause to bring awareness, and activism with positive results.

As I watch the transformation of the people that become mermaids for Sirens Photography, I often feel their soul. The gap between the inner and outer crumbles, and a calming, yet regal personality emerges. Being an empath, I’m highly aware to that change in each person. I’ve seen some  transformations that mimicked Divine intervention. A couple that was getting engaged did a romantic photo shoot with me a couple of years ago in South Lake Tahoe.  Billowy clouds in the background formed a perfect heart shape right behind them.  I photographed the mermaids as they sat, hugging and kissing, unaware that the clouds mirrored their love for each other.

I highly encourage my clients to step into character, become a mermaid in the true sense of the word; interact with the flora and fauna of the place, embrace the beauty of nature around them. Anyone who has ever wanted to break out of the mold of a restricted, conventional life will find “Mermaids Among Us” an Epiphany of delight.

Our motto is :”Always Be Yourself, but If You Can Be A Mermaid Than Always Be A Mermaid.”

I coined the phrase, “ Mermaids Among Us”, as the title of my work, but it also has meaning beyond that for me personally. Through a curios turn of events, my search for mermaids as a child was not in vain, for they have found me; and live among us.

I have heard the mermaids singing each to each
I don’t think they will sing to me.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown
Till human voices wake us and we drown

She then began to sing, so I could not,
except with pain, have drawn my eyes away.
‘I am’ she sang, ‘I am the lovely siren’
So full of pleasure to ear my tune
that mariners I magic in mid-ocean
And Ulysses, entranced to hear my song,
I turned off course. Rarely do those who’ve learned
my ways depart. I bring them full content.

– T.S. Elliot

 

Mermaid statues in Brazil

By |May 11th, 2013|

About 10 miles north of Maceió in Brazil is a section of beach called Praia de Sereia (Memaid Beach).   This unusual mermaid statue is located on a small reef just off the shore.  map

Praia de Sereia Mermaid Sculpture

Praia de Sereia Mermaid Statue – and fisherman. Photo © by Benicio Monte.

At times the reef is completely submerged, and at low tide it is accessible on foot.

Praia de Sereia wooden Mermaid

Wooden Mermaid Statue

There is a much rougher and probably much older mermaid statue of wood a few miles south of this location.

Whether the beach is named after the mermaid statue or whether there is an earlier inspiration for naming the beach after a mermaid is unknown at this point.   If you know of any stories or legends relating to this, please let me know.

The beach and the mermaid statue are both popular with tourists.

More information and images on this mermaid are found on this mermaid statue page.

These statues join the list of mermaid statues in Brazil, which already includes:

The Little Mermaid - replica at Brazil's Navy HQ

The Belém Mermaid Fountain.

The replica of Denmark’s The Little Mermaid in Brasilia, at Brazil’s Navy Headquarters, donated by friends in Denmark in appreciation of the Brazilian navy courtesies when visiting Denmark.

Then there is the mermaid fountain in Belém, which was imported from Europe in the late 1800’s, and a heritage from the city’s Belle Époque.

Mermaid Monument on Mermaid Beach

The mermaid statue at Sugarloaf Mountain in Rio De Janeiro

There is also a mermaid monument on another beach near Espirito Santo in the south of Brazil.  This beach is also called Praia de Sereia.   There just has to be some history behind these mermaid beaches…

Finally there is a much more modern and abstract mermaid statue at the top of Sugar Loaf Mountain in Rio de Janeiro.

Mermaid Statues in Italy – Part 1

By |May 7th, 2013|

It is time to get some of the mermaid statues in Italy properly represented and shown on Mermaids of Earth.   There are at least seven locations in Italy with mermaid statues, and I suspect we’ll find quite a few more.

We’ll start with the small city of Senigallia on the north-east coast of Italy, which has its own ‘little mermaid’ statue. She is found at the end of the pier at Porto di Levante, Senigallia’s harbor.

Penelope of Senigallia mermaid statue

Penelope of Senigallia. Photo © CC by Giovanni Barbieri

The statue is known as Penelope of Senigallia, but is also popularly referred to as ‘the little mermaid of Senigallia’, by comparison with Copenhagen’s famous mermaid statue by Edvard Eriksen, representing The Little Mermaid in Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale.

Although Penelope is not really a mermaid, one could easily be forgiven for assuming that she is, apparently emerging from water at the end of the pier.

Just as The Little Mermaid is a symbol of Denmark and Copenhagen, Penelope has become a symbol of Senigallia. The statue was created by Gianni Guerro and was inaugurated as his gift to the city on July 2004. She represents Penelope (wife of Homer’s Odysseus), who longs for and waits for her husband’s return for 20 years. By extension, the statue represents all lovers who are separated and waiting for the other’s return.

The inscription by the statue reads:

Chiunque Tu sia    ovunque Tu vada    la Tua Penelope    sia sempre con Te     Gianni Guerra    3 luglio 1994

Whoever you are    wherever you go    your Penelope    is always with you     Gianni Guerro    3 July 1994

As a symbol of undying love, the pier with the statue of Penelope is a very popular spot for weddings. Also, there are numerous chains with padlocks around Penelope, fastened here by couples in love – some of whom surely will come back here for their weddings.

 

See the official page for more photos and information.

And stay tuned for more mermaid statues from Italy!

Ecuador’s Rio Verde Mermaid Statue

By |May 5th, 2013|

The small town of Rio Verde is set in absolutely gorgeous and stunning beauty, with lush green mountains, roaring waterfalls and converging rivers.   In a lagoon near the Cascade Pailón del Diablo (Devil’s Waterfall) sits a white mermaid on a rock.

Rio Verde Mermaid

Rio Verde Mermaid

This is all pretty much in the center of Ecuador, in an area well known for its natural beauty, exciting hiking and biking trails, a (mostly) slumbering volcano, and of course the many impressive waterfalls on the rivers, which eventually feed into the Amazon.

The rivers are rocky and have strong currents, but the mermaid statue is located in a quiet lagoon, and is one of the attractions for tourists renting small watercraft here.

Scouts are currently out looking for additional photos and more information on this mermaid. If you find yourself in Ecuador near Baños or Rio Verde, bring a camera!

More info on the official page for the Rio Verde mermaid statue.

Bronze Mermaid Statue ‘Ama du Parc’ in Weinheim, Germany

By |May 4th, 2013|

On the edge of the mountains in Schlosspark (Castle Park) in Weinheim, Germany, you will find one of the Ama mermaid statues by Amaryllis, placed here through the Amaryllis Art for Charity project.

Ama du Parc mermaid sculpture

Ama du Parc mermaid statue. Photo courtesy of Amaryllis.

The Amaryllis Art for Charity project was created by Thomas Noor, using the Ama statue created by Amaryllis.   These statues are placed in prominent and beautiful locations near the ocean, and are for sale with approximately one third of the sales price going to a local charity.

There are unique touches to each of the statues, such as the patina chosen, the inscription with the name and the coordinates, and the item at Ama’s feet.

Amaryllis said of the statue:

She left her underwater world to connect with mankind and alert us that we are damaging her environment.  She wants to explain that water is the cradle of life, the ultimate necessity to assure humanity’s own existence.  As she arrives on more and more shorelines, it is our belief that she will gain a louder voice and will help make the point that we must respect her home.

More photos and information are available on the Ama du Parc page.

A Little Mermaid on a Rock in Shenzhen

By |May 4th, 2013|

An update was done to the page about the mermaid statue in Window on the World in Shenzhen, China.  Several excellent photos have been added, including this fabulous photo by Maria N. from Russia.

The Little Mermaid in Shenzhen

The Little Mermaid in Shenzhen. Photo © by Maria N.

Shenzhen is just north of Hong Kong, and Window on the World is a park with replicas of over 130 famous building, monuments and statues from across the world.

This near-replica of Edvard Eriksen’s mermaid statue was made part of Windows on the World when it was built about 1994.

See more photos and information at the Shenzhen Little Mermaid Statue page.

The Lorelei Statue in the Rhine Valley, Germany

By |April 23rd, 2013|

The statue of Lorelei sits on a narrow strip of land reaching just over half a mile into the Rhine river from the east bank.  map

The Lorelei mermaid sculpture

The Lorelei statue. Photo © by Marcus Scholz.

Technically Lorelei is probably a water-sprite or a siren more than a mermaid, but the distinctions are somewhat blurry, so I decided to include her here on Mermaids of Earth.   There are a number of Lorelei legends, but in essence it has to do with the dangers of the river in this location, and the murmur made by the river as it sweeps around the 400′ high Lorelei rock formation (in the left background in the photo above).

This is one of the narrowest parts of the Rhine river, and the very strong currents and underground rocks in this section of the river have caused many maritime accidents.  The name Lorelei comes from Old German and Celtic, and means ‘murmuring rock’.   In German literature this gave rise to stories of Lore Lay, a beautiful maiden betrayed by her sweetheart.  Lore Lay falls – or jumps – off the Lorelei Rock.  It is said her voice can still be heard in the murmurs of the river and the rock, and that Lore Lay at times distracts sailors with her voice and her beauty, causing them to have accidents.

The basic story is extremely well known in Germany, and has inspired and become part of ballads, poems, music and songs, as well as operas.  And of course there is the Lorelei statue shown here, as well as the Lorelei Fountain in The Bronx, New York.

The 16′ Lorelei statue was created in bronze by Natascha Alexandrova in 1983, and has become a tourist attraction itself.   The setting is fabulous – the Rhine Valley containing this section of the river – and the Lorelei rock and statue – has exceptional environmental beauty, and has been an immensely popular vacation and tourist location for a very long time.

The Lorelei Statue

The Lorelei Statue. Photo © by Bruce Greig.

See more details and images on the official page.

Ange des Mers – Angel of the Seas

By |April 20th, 2013|

The Ange de Mers (Angel of the Seas) by Amaryllis is a fabulous statue that is part manta ray and part woman.  map

Angel of the Seas mermaid statue

Angel of the Seas. Sculpture and photo © by Amaryllis.

Originally exhibited as part of the grand opening of the Metropole Hotel in Monte Carlo, she was subsequently exhibited in Galerie Robin Ledouze in Paris.

A replica of the sculpture is normally exhibited at the Monte Carlo Yacht Club, although currently the Yacht Club is under renovation.  Until this is completed, the statue is installed in a nearby park.

As many of the sculptures by Amaryllis, l’Ange des Mers is a bold and unique interpretation of the mermaid concept, and a wonderful addition to the mermaid statues of the world.

“She is part woman, and part manta ray.   She symbolizes our origin, and our connection to the sea as the Mother of Life, the cradle of life on our world.    Like my other statues, she carries a message of preservation and harmony with life in our oceans.”       – Amaryllis

Amaryllis has subsequently sculpted other works of art with a similar message, including the mermaid statue ‘Atlante’ which was installed in the port of Cannes in 2000, and the Ama mermaid statues which are part of Amaryllis Art for Charity.

AngeDesMers

AngeDesMers

See more information and photos on the official page.

 

New images for the St. Anna mermaid statue in Rheinfelden

By |April 20th, 2013|

New images have been added for this very unusual, stunningly austere and impressive mermaid statue in Rheinfelden, a town which straddles the border of Germany and Switzerland.  ( map )

Rheinfelden Mermaid

The St. Anna mermaid statue in Rheinfelden. Photo © CC-3.0 by Pierre Likissas

Notice the mermaid’s razor-back fin on her back, webbed hands and almost human legs that end in large fins.   She has rescued a drowning human girl, overcome by the fierce currents of the Rhine river in this location.

The sculpture was created  in 2007 by Roland Kistner, and is based on one of the legends of the St. Anna Hole, a deep cavern in the bed of the Rhine River by the Old Rhine Bridge.   One of the legends has it that when the town was attacked by the Huns some centuries ago, the townspeople tossed all their valuables into the river to foil the plunderers.   In revenge the Huns threw the Lady Anna of the castle into the deep part of the river.  Where exactly the mermaid comes into play is unclear….

Nevertheless, the mermaid statue reflects the features a mermaid would likely have to possess to survive in this section of the Rhine.   The currents can be extremely strong, especially when there are flood waters.   The St. Anna Hole in the riverbed creates additional turbulence and unusual currents, which over the years have surprised many swimmers, at times with fatal results.

Official page

Luxembourg commissions Melusine Mermaid Statue

By |April 20th, 2013|

MelusineIt has been reported that the City of Luxembourg (which is not just a city, but a country in its own right) has commissioned a mermaid statue for its 1050th anniversary.

A well-known legend has it that Melusine was the wife of Count Siegfried, who founded Luxembourg in 963 with the acquisition of Luxembourg Castle. So a mermaid statue of Melusine is a splendid idea.

The Melusine legend exists in a number of versions across Europe, with similar elements.  Essentially Melusine marries, but with the stipulation that once a week she must have absolute privacy.   She turns into a mermaid every Saturday, and spends the time in a bathtub in complete privacy.   One day, her husband can no longer contain his curiosity and spies on his wife while she is bathing, and sees her as a mermaid.  At this point, she vanishes forever, although she is occasionally seen in the river.

There is a famous statue in Baden (Austria), in the Undine fountain, based on the story of Undine by  Friedrich de la Motte Fouqué.   This story in turn is based partly on the Melusine legend.

I will report more on the Luxembourg statue as data becomes available.

Interview with a Mermaid – in the Huffington Post

By |April 17th, 2013|

Noted authors Carolyn Turgeon and Brenda Peterson interview each other.  Both have novels with mermaids as their main characters.

Read the article here.

Linda Wolbert, Pro Mermaid and Ocean Conservationist

By |April 4th, 2013|

MIMHere is another interesting article on someone becoming a professional mermaid, with a passion for ocean conservation.

The IBTimes on Linden Wolbert

Linden’s website

Mermaid Statues that are City Icons

By |March 31st, 2013|

There are a number of cities that have a mermaid statue as an icon or symbol of the city.   This includes the capitals of Denmark, Finland and Poland.

Warsaw Mermaid

Warsaw, Poland

The Syrenka (mermaid) is the symbol and protector of Warsaw, the capital of Poland.The mermaid has been on the city’s coat-of-arms since the 16th century, and symbols of the mermaid can be found all over the city.The most famous of these is the Syrenka bronze statue created by Konstanty Hegel in 1855, a copy of which is found in Warsaw’s Old Town Market square.

One of the legends of how she came to be there relates that she is the sister of the mermaid in Copenhagen.   One of the sisters swam north to Denmark, while the other swam into the Vistula river, and settled near what is now Warsaw.  She was popular with the humans there for her beautiful singing.

When she was captured by a man wanting to profit from her singing, she was freed by the local people.   In gratitude she promised to protect them if they were ever in danger.

It is interesting to note that the Nazis were unaware of the history and significance of the mermaid statues when they occupied Poland, and while they destroyed or stole many other works of art, they left the mermaids unharmed.

More info

Havis Amanda

Helsinki, Finland

In Finland’s capital Helsinki, the Havis Amanda mermaid statue was created by sculptor Ville Vallgren in Paris in 1906, and then placed and unveiled in Helsinki in 1908.

The Havis Amanda is considered an icon of Helsinki and its most important and beautiful piece of art.

The statue depicts the mermaid rising out of the sea on a pedestal of seaweed with four fish at her feet, and symbolizes Helsinki’s rebirth.

Originally the statue was somewhat controversial, but over time it has become extremely popular.

More info

The Little Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen

Copenhagen, Denmark

In Denmark’s capital Copenhagen, the world-famous statue of The Little Mermaid has now been there for a century, and is the top tourist attraction in Denmark.

It was created by sculptor Edward Eriksen in 1913, and has become an icon of both Copenhagen and Denmark. It was of course inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s fairy tale The Little Mermaid, which also inspired the Disney movie adaptation.

Replicas of the statue have been placed in many locations across the world, including Brazil, Romania, Spain, the United States and China.

More info

Norfolk Morning Walk on the Harbor

Norfolk, Virginia

Another city which has adopted the mermaid as its symbol and icon is Norfolk, Virginia. It started in 1999 as a logo for the city. In 2002 it expanded with the “Mermaids on Parade” project, which since then has placed at least 17 mermaid statues around the city’s downtown area, and many more can be found around the city at large.

The mermaid is also prominent on the city’s website, and has been widely adopted as a sort of mascot for the city, with substantial tourism and commerce resulting.

Beaufort, South Carolina

This town decided in 2006 to decorate and place about town 31 mermaid statues as a Beaufort Art Project.

Miss Beaufort Mermaid statue

If you know of any other cities with a mermaid as its mascot or symbol, let me know.

Philip

Train music video features mermaids on Hawaii

By |March 23rd, 2013|

Pat Monahan and the group Train released a new mermaid music video shot on Oahu.   “Mermaid” is worth both a listen and a look.

Amaryllis – artist, sculptor, mermaid, conservationist

By |March 8th, 2013|

Ama and Atlante

Amaryllis sculpting ‘Atlante’

Amaryllis Bataille

was educated at École des Beaux-Arts in France, and is an accomplished and well-known sculptor, particularly in subjects involving the sea and ocean conservation.  Her passion for preserving nature and in particular our oceans shines through in her stunningly beautiful works of art – which may soon be coming to a place near you.

Amaryllis

Named for the beautiful Amaryllis flower, she was nicknamed Ama.  She one day learned that ‘ama‘ is a Japanese word for women of the sea – the Japanese ama have a rich tradition of diving for pearls and other treasures of the sea, similar to the haenyo divers in South Korea.

Amaryllis developed a passion for mythology and legends pertaining to our oceans, and has been a mermaid enthusiast since her childhood.

A recurring theme in her art is our connection to the sea as the origin of life, and the message that we need to preserve this cradle of life, both for ourselves and for the many endangered species.

While in Las Vegas recently, Amaryllis very graciously gave me an interview for Mermaids of Earth.

Amaryllis with AMA

Amaryllis with ‘AMA’

What inspires you as an artist?

“I have been fascinated with the marine world since I was a child, and became interested in mythology and legends of the oceans.   These are a rich source of inspiration for me, and inspire the magical, the mysterious and the fantastical.

Also, I am as an artist part of the “Generation Grand Bleu” – those of us who were caught up in the world of diving and our connection with the oceans as portrayed in the 1988 film Le Grand Bleu”.   I was fortunate to know and dive with Jacques Mayol, who inspired a generation in France and he was a huge inspiration for me. Jacques introduced me to dolphins, and this contributed directly to the development of my art.”

How do mermaids fit into this?

“Mermaids are part of mythology going back thousands of years, and they fascinated me from the beginning.   As a girl I wanted to be a mermaid, and I did many drawings and paintings of them.  There is romance and magic, beauty and elegance.   They inhabit a world filled with fantastic creatures of almost infinite variety, and it is a world we as humans are endangering.

“The mermaids are in a sense the protectors of the marine world, and they can carry a message that will be heard – a message to protect the oceans and preserve the endangered species.”

Atlante is your fabulous life-size bronze mermaid statue in Cannes, on the French Riviera.  How did she come to be there?

~Amaryllis

‘Atlante’ in Port Canto, Cannes

“Atlante was placed in Cannes in the year 2000.  She is a mermaid who has come to us out of the sea at the turn of the century.  She considers the losses of the last century and looks into the new century.   She is strong and brave, and determined to face the coming storms and to help us undo the damage caused by the poisoning of the oceans and the senseless hunting that threatens many marine species.   She is the only sculpture to have been allowed in the waters of the port of Cannes.

“Like most of my mermaids she has legs, and is not the usual mermaid with a tail (or two).   She is out of the water and is adapted to this environment while she is here, but she still retains mermaid characteristics, such as the fish-scale boots and vestigial fins, and attire that is clearly of the sea.

“She has been there for near 13 years now, alone on her rock.   I am considering whether I should add a dolphin companion.   In the late 1960’s a wild dolphin became famous for staying in the Cannes Harbor, and for a couple years was a sort of mascot for the city.   I would be nice to bring him back as a companion for Atlante.”

That is a lovely idea.   One of your early works was l’Ange de Mers – the Angel of the Seas.  What does she represent?

“She is part woman, and part manta ray.   She symbolizes our origin, and our connection to the sea as the Mother of Life, the cradle of life on our world.    Like my other statues, she carries a message of preservation and harmony with life in our oceans.”

You are also the artist behind Amaryllis Art for Charity.   It is a big project, to bring approximately 100 mermaids statues to locations across the world, and to raise money for charity. How did this start, and how is it going?

Ama du Cap Ferrat

‘AMA du Cap Ferrat’

“This project came about thanks to Thomas Noor, who had the great idea for this, and whose  incredible generosity made it possible.  Combining the free placement of these mermaid statues with the eventual charitable contribution to a local cause seems like a stroke of genius to me.

“It is my hope that our beautiful mermaid, holding her skin of scales as a symbol of the oceans’ survival, will raise our awareness and encourage mankind to love and respect our blue planet.

“She left her underwater world to connect with mankind and alert us that we are damaging her environment.  She wants to explain that water is the cradle of life, the ultimate necessity to assure humanity’s own existence.  As she arrives on more and more shorelines, it is our belief that she will gain a louder voice and will help make the point that we must respect her home.

“She walks while she is here, but she carries her tail and scales with her, for her return to her own world when her message is heeded and we are no longer poisoning her world.

“Thomas and Maria Noor created Amaryllis Art for Charity to help get AMA broadly known, while raising funds for charities all over the world.

“Each AMA statue is named for her location, and inscribed with her name and coordinates.  There are also 8 different patinas available, so every AMA becomes unique.

“The AMAs remain in their location until sold, and can then be replaced with another sculpture or another AMA.

“We have about 11 AMAs already in place, in Thailand, France, German, Switzerland, Austria and Mexico.  Many more are scheduled this year in additional locations in South Korea, the United States, England and France.”

Are you planning more mermaid sculptures?

“Yes, I have several ideas for more mermaids, and plan on making some that are a little less serious, more lighthearted, charming and fun.”

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Thank you, Amaryllis.    We all look forward to the AMAs reaching many shores, and seeing other mermaids in the future.

Links:
http://www.amaryllis-art.com/
http://www.kohinoor.de.com

New Logo for Mermaids of Earth

By |March 7th, 2013|

Hi Everyone,

We are doing the final survey for the new Mermaids of Earth logo.   We have 4 finalist logos.   Please help us pick the best one by voting here.

MOEFinal1 MOEFinal2 MOEFinal3 MOEFinal4

Starbucks and the Mermaid

By |March 4th, 2013|

I thought it might be interesting to review the connection between Starbucks coffee and Mermaids.

When the Starbucks coffee chain started in 1971, Starbucks says the owners wanted to “evoke the romance of the high seas and the seafaring tradition of the early coffee traders” by using a name from the novel “Moby Dick” by Herman Melville.   In the book, the name of the Chief Mate on the whaleship Pequod is Mr. Starbuck.  There was a debate on whether to use ‘Starbucks’ or ‘Pequod’.   ‘Starbucks’ won.

Next item: A logo for the company.

The 1971 Starbucks Logo:

In keeping with the theme of the high seas and seafaring, a mermaid was picked for the company logo based on a 16th century Norse woodcut of a mermaid with two tails – a siren or melusine.

The woodcut in question seems to have been this one, as it bears a very close resemblance to the original Starbucks logo.

mermaids

Old Norse Woodcut

mermaids

Original Starbucks Logo

sb
The twin-tailed mermaid – often with a crown – is not uncommon in history, as can be seen with some of these examples:
Twin-Tailed Crowned Mermaid
Twin-Tailed Crowned Mermaid
Twin-Tailed Crowned Mermaid
Twin-Tailed Crowned Mermaid
Twin-Tailed Crowned Mermaid

8 Mermaid Statues on Rossio Square in Lisbon

By |March 2nd, 2013|

Mermaid Statue in the Rossio Square, Lisbon.

Here is the site page on the eight mermaid statues on Rossio Square in Lisbon, Portugal.   There are two fountains, made in France in 1889, each with 4 divinities in the center, and 4 mermaids along the perimeter.

Fonte Luminosa, icon of Lisbon. 4 mermaid statues included

By |February 27th, 2013|

Fonte Luminosa in Lisbon

There is now a page for the Fonte Luminosa (Illuminated Fountain) in Lisbon.   More images are coming, so this page is still in development.   The Fonte Luminosa dates back to 1943 and is considered an icon of the city.

The front section of the fountain contains 4 mermaid statues, each holding a fish spouting water into the fountain.

The entire fountain is brilliantly lit at night, presenting a brilliant display of water, stone and art.