Laurence Payot has been selected to create a permanent piece of public art along the Blackpool Promenade. The commission is part Blackpool Corridors, the redevelopment of the City Centre linking the forthcoming tram system to the seafront.
The work will re-invent an exciting work, ‘I Thought It Was Real.”, to create a new contemporary sea characters for Blackpool.
Laurence will work with local coastal communities to design the statue.
” This contemporary mermaid is about the future: the future of the sea and the future of Blackpool. Mermaids have been present across generations and across cultures, we’ve always been and we’ll always be fascinated by the Sea and its mystery.
This statue will talk to all communities of people living in Blackpool, as we all have a connection with sea legends and sea characters. In Brazil, Olokun is celebrated as the owner of the Sea. Throughout West Africa and the Caribbean, Yemaya is honored as the Goddess of water and healing, and as the mother of the sea and the moon. In other cultures, she is the mother of all living creatures, the keeper of the female mysteries, feminine intuition, and energy, and a strong and powerful guardian of the Sea.
As well as referring to other cultures, the statue will bring a contemporary view of what the Sea means to young people today. The design, from choosing the performer, deciding on a body position and an attitude, to fashioning the clothing and accessories, will be created through engaging consultations with young people, the wider local community, and key local organisations.
The statue will be ‘made in Blackpool’, created with a folkloric feel I mind: with objects, fashion accessories, clothes found in Blackpool. She will represent the seafront Town, as seen by young people, or as they wish to see it in years to come.
The model will be a young woman from Blackpool. She will represent youth, power for change and environmental progress.”