Mermaid Spring is a new work of interdisciplinary music theatre focused on deep co-creation, slow process and social handcraft. The story is inspired by Weeki Wachee Springs, Florida, where since 1947, women have worked as professional mermaids. Set between pleasure and panic, Mermaid Spring asks: how is our enjoyment of a place complicit in its destruction? For a full description of the project, visit The Public Swoon.

We invited celebrated textile artist Debra Sparrow to speak to the practice of weaving, the gift of nature, and the gift of connection through artmaking. Debra Sparrow is a representative of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm nation and a weaving artist on these unceded lands. You can read more about her project, Blanketing the City, here.

In early spring of 2022, the Mermaid Spring team invited community members to PTC’s home at PL 1422 to research and develop the project. Textile artist Heather Cameron led a visible mending workshop. The Public Swoon team, led by Barbara Adler, Kyla Gardiner, and James Meeger, developed songs from the work in progress with process dramaturg, Heidi Taylor. Filmmaker Reed Jackson shot and edited the video to share a taste of the process.

“anothermending piece” by textile artist and collaborator, Heather Cameron

Mending is not just the simple act of sewing on a button, or stitching up a torn seam, or darning a hole in a sock. Mending is a way to create positive change in the world. It is an effective action one can take to resist the horrors of fast fashion and relentless consumerism, and to reduce the mountains of textile waste in landfills. And even more, slow, repetitive stitching has been shown in academic studies to reduce anxiety and improve mood.

Read the full piece here.

This project has been made possible in part by the Government of Canada.

Ce projet a été rendu possible en partie grâce au gouvernement du Canada.

PTC would like to thank Canadian Heritage, The Hamber Foundation, BC Arts Council. We acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia.

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