Artist Jayne Wright, explains all about the 'Mermaid Army', a project raising funds for Crisis.
The Mermaid Army is a ceramic project of stoneware sculptures of people who wild swim.
It began as a response to a fellow swimmer who was training to swim the Channel being called ‘chunky’.
I sculpted her in support of her words on Instagram promoting body positivity raising awareness that strength and athleticism comes in all shapes and sizes.
The sculpture created an overwhelming response on social media. When I exhibited it at the Margate Ceramics Market people related with the work and the back story and wanted to be sculpted too.
The Mermaid Army began to grow.
The project made connections in real life and through social media and somehow it marched virtually all the way to Lake Windermere where a group of swimmers were swimming every day to raise awareness and funds to support Crisis.
I connected with Emily, a wonderful open water swimmer and asked if I could sculpt her and raise awareness about homelessness here in Thanet, Kent too. I exhibited the sculpture of Emily in Margate as part of Power Of Women, Thanet fringe festival for International Women's Day.
As part of The Mermaid Army the sculpture raised more awareness for Crisis, it made the local press and the BBC news.
I plan to exhibit the sculpture again as part of East Kent Open House, the sculpture is now available for sale to the highest bidder (approximate sale £400) with every penny raised going to support the work of Crisis.
Together we can end Homelessness.
The Mermaid Army is now regrouping. I am applying for funding to make it as big as I can, aiming to represent as many wild swimmers as I can. I am currently applying for funding, to date the project has been funded by me, but marching on I may need a bit of help. I am looking for wild open water swimmers who would like to enlist and be sculpted, and venues to exhibit, if you can help please do get in touch:
Jayne Wright, Instagram: @jawceramics