Carving took place during July and August 2001. The tree stump is about l4 ft high and is a sycamore.
After removing the bark, I used the natural shape of the tree to inform my carving. The tree has a lovely natural curve which greatly added to my initial designs.
I decided on the 'Mermaid' theme in honour of the return of the fountain on Park Avenue. I'd really missed its presence. (Perhaps we could complete the picture by having one on the roundabout on Victoria Avenue?).
This Mermaid is floating in the water with her long hair floating up and around her. She's holding a long stem of kelp in each hand and strung between them, draped behind her tail is a poem.
I see in the style of my finished carving that there are influences from world art. Ship's figure heads; Art Nouveau delight in curves and the female form; a slight Polynesian touch in the face which goes well with the sea-faring nature of the piece; references to Gauguin perhaps.
Back to top
The Mermaid Poem
The poem on the back was lent to me by Paul Burkitt, Vicar of St. Mary's Church, Lowgate, Hull. It is a charming poem which seemed to me to encapsulate the nature of the mermaid I wanted to portray. A benign presence rather than their usual tricky reputation for leading mariners onto the rocks.
I am the Mermaid.
Look upon me as your friend
Guiding your long journey
Till your boat rests at the end.
As last time with the Cat Tree, I had some help with the carving, especially the scales. Thanks again to John and also to Sylvia Thurloe who is a freelance artist working in many different media.