After visiting Warsaw’s Old Town, I became fascinated by this statue of a mermaid, a symbol circulated widely in Polish culture. During WWII, Old Town was completely obliterated at the hands of the Nazis. Today, this “historic” site is a recreation of what once was. The reconstruction required the use of old images and blueprints of what was before. However, the mermaid statue was one of the few objects to survive this devastation.
This story resonated with me profoundly. A statue of a mythical creature, part fish and part woman, standing strong with minor injury. I immediately began to draw parallels between this story and the histories of the matriarchs in my family. As a result, I’ve started generating a type of mythology around the mermaid, my mother, and my grandmother.
The tail of my mermaid is bruised and not functional. It drags and draws lines in the sand as I walk using my human legs. It’s both a burden and a memory. A physical embodiment of trauma.