1000 Mermaids

by Louise Irvine

Have you ever imagined yourself as a mermaid? Now your dream could come true with the 1000 Mermaids Project. Body scans of aspiring mermaids are being created for a public Eco-Art installation and artificial coral reef off the east coast of Florida. Discover more about mermaids in art at WMODA in our entertaining trivia trail inspired by this innovative project.

Elusive Mermaids

Tales of half-human half-fish creatures have circulated since ancient times and many extraordinary examples can be seen in our Fantastique exhibit. Mermaids are just one of the wonders of the deep according to classical mythology. Their oceans were ruled by Poseidon, god of the sea, and inhabited by merfolk and tritons, who rode through the waves in carriages drawn by hippocamps, seahorses with fishtails.

Victorian ceramic artists were fascinated by all these fantastic creatures and portrayed them in ornate porcelain and Majolica sculptures. Mermaids were also fashionable motifs during the Art Nouveau era with their sinuous tails and long flowing hair swirling in the waves. Iridescent luster glazes developed in the early 1900s captured the ethereal qualities of these mythical creatures. Sculptors in the 1920s and 30s fantasized about mermaids riding on fish and other sea creatures as can be seen in our Art Deco gallery. Find all the elusive mermaids and their friends in our new WMODA trivia trail on your next visit.

1000 Mermaids

Mermaids have long been a symbol of our connection to the ocean and are now creating awareness of our marine environment. The 1000 Mermaids Artificial Reef Project is part of an underwater sculpture garden, which will be an exciting destination for divers to explore. The innovative tourist attraction is highlighting the need to preserve our natural coral reefs, which are dying of disease and bleaching events.

Christopher Xavier O'Hare, the founder of Reef Cells, has patented a Coral Lok system that encourages corals and other marine life to attach to eco-friendly materials, including limestone concrete and calcium carbonate modules. Reef Cells has successfully deployed hundreds of artificial reefs in South Florida to provide homes for thousands of fish and invertebrates. The resilient underwater structures also provide a buffer against waves, storms, and floods on the shoreline.

Innovations in marine biology have been combined with Christopher's experience as an artist and architectural sculptor to enhance the artificial reef with statues of mermaids. The novel idea to use body scans of real people has evolved into a long term legacy project involving environmental agencies, local government bodies and volunteers.

"1000 Mermaids Reef project has given me an opportunity to realize my objectives as an artist while pursuing my love of creating artificial reefs. Art strengthens the bond between people. Reef art strengthens our bond with the environment. The 1000 Mermaids Reef will bring attention to the importance of coral reefs, provide much needed habitat for marine life and be a fun place for people to visit and connect with the natural environment." Christopher Xavier O'Hare

The 1000 Mermaids Project is enhancing marine habitats and preserving coral reefs while developing environmental awareness and an eco-tourism attraction. View the video below. To become involved, visit 1000mermaids.com. facebook.com/1000mermaids, Instagram @1000mermaids or call Evan Snow Project Manager & Executive Director of the 1000 Mermaids Project (954) 361-4998. [email protected]

Read more about mermaids at WMODA https://www.wmoda.com/mysterious-mermaids/