Mermaid Festival in Buxton
half.fish is a celebration of all things Mermaid for children, adults and anyone with a tail. With mermaid clubs springing up all over the country, there has never been a better time to investigate this cultural phenomenon.
We live in a town that is famous for its water but what lurks beneath? To open up this conversation, we are presenting a flurry of events, from the sunny shallows of kids’ art workshops to the dark depths of an urban fairy tale, from a storytelling masterclass with an award-winning writer to an interview with a real-life ‘professional mermaid’. Children will be able to create their own mythical creature in artist-led workshops that are free and include all materials. Adults will be enthralled by the research and stories embedded in the town’s most valuable resource.
The festival is inspired by ‘The Buxton Mermaid’, a fascinating curio that lives in Buxton Museum and Art Gallery. This world-famous exhibit, made from fish skin and human hair, has a fascinating history. Conservator Anita Hollinshead will be revealing her research, after studying the Buxton Mermaid for her MA in the Conservation of Historic Objects.
Rob Young was so inspired by The Buxton Mermaid, he has created a cluster of artworks, from images of Blakemere Pool (where rumour has it, a mermaid still lives) to photographs of the Peak District’s only synchronised swimming club.
The festival opens with a workshop from Buxton’s own environmental artist and storyteller, Gordon MacLellan (Creeping Toad). It ends with a world-premiere of Rob Young’s short story Deep, that brings the Buxton Mermaid to life in a contemporary tale, shared in an intimate gallery setting with café-style seating.
This tide of watery people is part of BM125, a year-long celebration to mark the Museum’s 125th birthday. Supported by Arts Council England, this project has invited 5 artists to look at aspects of the Museum’s collection in new and unexpected ways. So, Rob has dived deep into the cold, dark waters of the Peak District’s mysterious pools
All events are free, but places are limited so booking is essential.
Buxton Museum: https://buxtonmuseumandartgallery.wordpress.com/