In 2019 the process of making a new Blackpool Mermaid began, and now she’s in pride of place at Talbot Square, opposite Blackpool North Pier. Modelled on a real-life girl from Blackpool the sculpture’s designed by artist Laurence Payot.
Unveiling a Mermaid at Talbot Square
Installed on 10 June 2021 and named ‘Call of the Sea’ it’s a new local figure, inspired by sea goddesses and heroes across cultures.
The £35,000 statue is a life-sized bronze, standing 2m tall. Made by Castle Arts Foundry they used a state-of-the-art 3D scanner to faithfully copy Blackpool born Charlotte, the live model chosen for the project. After first being cast in wax, then bronze, it’s painted in sea greens and blues.
The artist said of the work “She was carefully designed with and for Blackpool. The mermaid emerges out of the sea like a magical and surreal apparition. She represents hope, change and kindness. A call for the sea and for the young and future generations.”
Laurence added “Call of the Sea will mark a turning point for Blackpool which has declared a climate change emergency and send a positive and optimistic message about the town’s progress to maintain its quality sea water and clean beaches.
Have a look around it in this short video of the newly installed piece –
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Making the Mermaid
The process began back in November 2019, with members of the public being invited to share their views on the design.
Artist Laurence Payot wanted the statue to be made for people living and working in Blackpool. So she asked children, young people and the wider community to contribute ideas.
Originally described as ‘Playing with the long-standing traditions of magic and illusion’ the intention was that you’d be unsure whether it’s artwork or a street performer disguised as a statue.
Workshops and public engagement sessions were held first, with different groups of people across town.
Fashion students from Blackpool and The Fylde College took part in a couple of workshops during the summer. Then in August, staff and volunteers from the Blackpool Beach Patrol Team (above) participated in a creative consultation session with Laurence Payot to help design the artwork.
Marking a sea change
Blackpool Council commissioned the project as part of the wider plans for the town centre regeneration. The public art will forms part of the ongoing work taking place to update and modernise key streets in Blackpool. The improvement works include making the town centre more attractive to shoppers, residents and investors, as well as making Blackpool better for residents.
The funding for the statue came from a grant through the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership under its Growth Deal.
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