Co-created by Kyla Gardiner, Barbara Adler and James Meger, featuring compositions by Peggy Lee, Leah Abramson and Alicia Hansen
deep co-creation, slow process & social handcraft
Mermaid Spring is a new work of interdisciplinary music theatre by Public Swoon, loosely inspired by Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida – a real-life natural attraction where since 1947, women have donned mermaid tails to perform underwater shows. Set between Weeki Wachee and a Gulf Island in the Coast Salish sea, the story follows professional mermaids and tourism workers hustling to hold on to their dream jobs in natural landscapes that are threatened by development.
Equal parts pleasure and panic, investigating Florida helps us ask: how is our enjoyment of a place complicit in its destruction?
Premiere: In view of the global pandemic, the ‘final’ show has been delayed until spring/summer 2022. In the meantime, Public Swoon is focusing on Social Handcraft and curating a series of short artist responses to their project, with a wide community of collaborators. Here’s a taste of what they’ve made so far.
Introducing Social Handcraft
Volunteer crafters working in our network and beyond are using crochet to create abstract, fantastic vegetation inspired by Weeki Wachee, Florida and our own bioregion – Pacific Northwest/Cascadia/Coast Salish territory. Whatever is shared will be used to create part of the stage environment of Mermaid Spring.
As much as a working and crafting collective, Public Swoon imagines Social Handcraft as a listening, reading and observation group, a place for people to find companionship and social connection – thought and feeling. They are using thrifted and salvaged yarn, and working with excellent sponsors like Baaad Anna’s to gather donations of second-hand yarn to share.
Right now, they want to offer crochet as a stress-relieving activity to keep us connected during distanced times. Their bigger vision is to respond to the global climate crisis by looking for alternative ways to produce creative projects. They want to help create solidarity between human labour and the labour of the environment. They see sustainability as a shared cause between art workers and land.
More about Social Handcraft here.
Get Involved at thepublicswoon.org
Yarn Matchmaking Quiz
A Public Swoon Production
A co-creation by designer and performance maker Kyla Gardiner, writer/project designer Barbara Adler and musical director/producer James Meger, featuring compositions by Peggy Lee, Leah Abramson and Alicia Hansen.
Developed with support from Canada Council for the Arts, BC Arts Council, SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, The Hamber Foundation.
Partners: SFU School for the Contemporary Arts, Barking Sphinx Performance, Sawdust Collector