Sunday, 27 January 2019

Making mermaids and other events

Jenny Greenteeth’s Mother

Make a mermaid, 

model a monster, shape a serpent

or simply love your water-people

~ events coming up at Buxton Museum and Art Gallery 

Seapeople inspire us, it would seem….or water-people do, generally. Our Peak District “mermaids” are not saltwater folk but frolic in our cold spring-fed pools and stone-sprung, moss-spawned rivers. Looking wider, we meet Peg Powler and Jenny Greenteeth in their rivers, while from Scotland come kelpies and water horses. There are spirits in streams and ladies in wells, hoary old river gods under bridges and strange monsters in lochs and lakes, tarns and llyns.
Doxey Pool, the site of recent water-spirit stories,  photo c/o Adrian Lambert

Saturday 23rd merperson
And then we get our feet wet as we go paddling and there are sea serpents and krakens, tritons and sirens. There are selkies and roane, fin men in their boats and the strong, sad, remorseless Blue Men of the Minch and Shony in the western seas expecting his tribute to guide fish into the fishers’ nets. Just out from Liverpool, on the Irish Sea, we might meet Manannan mac Lyr riding in his chariot of seaweed pulled by horses made from the white foams of the largest waves. Or we might yet see the ghosts of the Children of Lyr who spent years living as swans on that same cold, wild sea.

And then there is us at Buxton museum with our Victorian “mermaid” in her lonely splendour. She has a suitor, you know, a gentlemen (we think, with mermaids like this it can be hard to tell, and what does it matter anyway?) who spends most of his time in the Horniman Museum in Forest Hill in London. So if you are down that way, you might pop in and blow him a kiss from his northern lass…..

As part of BM125*, we are exploring mermaids and our artist Rob Young is creating mermaid films and stories. You could have a look:
Rob's mermaid posts  (there are a number of mermaid posts so hunt around from this one...)

And still there are us at Buxton Museum and we just enjoy our water-people….so we will have various watery moments over the next few months

Firstly we have two events in February

some of last year's sea creatures
Thursday February 21st, mermaids and monsters: 10.30 – 12.30, join us to make quick watery people. You might make a mermaid or a fish or a lobster or some dreadful creature no-one has ever seen before: the choice is up to you. This is a quick and cheerful activity making beautiful shimmery puppets

a saturday merperson
Saturday 23rd, Wilder mermaids: and then we’d like to invite you to join us for an activity with a bit of fiddling, a bit of care, thinking and planning and building as we go to make fiercer, stranger, maybe more beautiful water-people….12.30 –  3.30pm
dancing fin-folk

  • details are still developing so times or event titles might change
  • Both events are free and materials are provided
  • No booking needed, just drop by and join in
  • Children under 7 need to bring a grown-up with them and these events are often busy so older children might well appreciate having their own adult nearby, too

Other BM125 events are coming for March and April, so watch out for more announcements – there should be minerals, sabre-tooth cats and some golden treasures. We are hoping that a mermaid tide will come in again in May!

* Buxton Museum and Art Gallery is 125 this year and to mark that anniversary, the BM125 project will bring together experienced with new and emerging artists with 12 months of artistic initiatives