Daughters of the Deep: Mermaids in Literature and Art

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Mysterious, alluring, and often deadly, mermaids have captured the imagination of writers and artists since the dawn of civilization. The readings and art presented in this sequence illustrate the different ways in which sea and its beguiling maidens have been used to explore human emotions and experience.

Each piece offers insights into the diverse meanings attached to merfolk across time and highlights how shifts in social, ideological and religious outlooks have shaped mankind’s fascination with the sea-maid’s mutable and elusive nature. Though mermaids are found in the cultures of every continent across the globe, Daughters of the Deep speaks primarily to European water-dwellers, particularly those embedded in the national maritime imaginary of the island nations making up the British Isles and Ireland. From ancient epic and medieval poetry, to pre-Raphaelite art and contemporary literature, we invite you to succumb to the lure of the siren…

Readings by Sarah Peverley and Alexander Pardey.

First performed at The Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 19 November 2016.

Image by Chiara Salomoni. All rights Reserved.

Event Poster Programme. Interview.