Inspiration // Mermaid Parade

While researching for my dissertation I was looking at the mermaid in the modern day and how it appears these days and I found out that there is a Mermaid Parade at Coney Island every year that celebrates the beginning of summer. It usually takes place in June. This year will be the 34th annual Mermaid Parade on June 18th 2016.

It is an art parade and the largest in the united states founded in 1983 with the goals of bringing mythology to life (especially to those living streets names Mermaid and Neptune). The event is a celebration of ancient mythology and honky-tonk rituals of the seaside and showcases over 3,000 creative individuals.

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Dissertation // Laying It Out

This week we had to hand in the final draft of our dissertations and I think a lot of people were racing to write up their essays. I fortunately had almost all of my essay written before hand having just the end of my essay and the conclusion to properly write up and add to and images to be put in. I’m glad though that we are getting the opportunity to get it properly looked at as well as make us get it all finished weeks before the deadline so we aren’t panicking then.

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Dissertation // Mermaiding

As part of my research for the last chapter of my dissertation which is on mermaids as a subculture, I looked at mermaiding which is the practice of wearing and often swimming in a costume mermaid tail. It is also known as artistic mermaiding, mermaidry or artistic mermaid performance. Mermaiding began in the 20th century and was sometimes referred to as water ballet, it is not modern synchronised swimming but there can be confusion if a mermaid performance troupe is performing a routine that is synchronised. Mermaiding also goes includes cosplay and crafting in terms of the making of tails and other prosthetics used. There are several tail making companies that provide the ‘mer’ community with things such as fabric tails and full SFX prostheeses costing thousands of dollars.

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Dissertation // Mermaids of Zennor

I know I haven’t posted much about my dissertation and I have been working on it, I suppose with the rest of my work I haven’t felt like I needed to blog about my dissertation but I am sure there are many people out there who are interested in my topic. To reinstate my topic, I am looking at the commercialisation of Mermaids. I’m looking at the origins and tales of them, a media history of them and mermaids as a subculture and along side I’m looking at the evolution of the image of the mermaid.

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Dissertation // British Museum

This weeks dissertation class was held at the British Museum! We all met on the front steps on Wednesday afternoon and were briefed on the afternoons task. We were to walk around for an hour and a half and find objects and pieces around the museum that reflected or showed the medium and process of writing and in what way.

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I set off towards the European section and started at the Etruscan part of that section, I noticed at first that there wasn’t a lot of objects and exhibits that had writing on the actual artifact and it wasn’t until I was in the Roman Empire section that I found some memorial reliefs dedicated to people. There was also a lot of these but I also found some really interesting pieces from the part of the Roman section on the Roman Army, they had pieces of what looked like terracotta pottery or ceramic with ink inscriptions on them and were actually letters to people, some were warning people of events and others were just between father and son. I liked these because they were a but more personal than the memorial slabs which were a bit more official and probably glorified.

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Dissertation // Show&Tell

This week we were asked to bring in a piece of research from our findings from our topic and to reinstate what we wanted to write about and discuss it a bit as a group, a little like a show and tell.

My topic if I haven’t already said on here is either about the commercialisation of mermaids or the image of the mermaid and how it’s changed over time. So, the book I brought is a book called Mermaids by Beatrice Phillpotts which has a kind of history of the mermaid but has a good description in the first paragraph that helps kind of define why I wanted to look at this topic.

“Supremely glamorous, forever combing her hair, just beyond reach, the elusively desirable mermaid offers the adventurous the challenge of the unknown and promise of wold forbidden pleasures. Behind this seductive image, however, the ‘sea enchantress’ lurks as a symbol of death. Enticed by her voluptuous promises, generations of the unwary have been lured to their certain doom in a thousand different stories, the basis of a powerful and enduring sea-myth that still exerts a lingering. A proliferation of mermaids sightings throughout the ages testifies to the continued eagerness to believe in one of the most attractive and compelling legendary beings.” Beatrice Phillpotts in Mermaids, Russell Ash/Windward, England, 1980

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