Monday, 14 February 2011

Cornelia Parker creates a mermaid for Folkestone

Folkestone Triennial have commissioned Cornelia Parker to create Folkestone's answer to Copenhagen's famous 'Little Mermaid' statue for the 2011 triennial. The model will be a Folkestone resident called Georgina, who will be immortalised in a life-size bronze statue. 

The Triennial state:The selection ends the artist’s public search for a model from the town to become immortalised as “The Folkestone Mermaid”. When the competition process was launched in June, former Turner Prize nominee Cornelia Parker said, “This is not a beauty contest. I am not looking for a look-alike of the idealised Copenhagen Mermaid, but for a real person, a free spirit, so any shape or size welcome!”
Local women over the age of 18 were invited to enter by sending in a photograph of themselves in swimwear before a final shortlist of candidates was drawn up from which Georgina was chosen. The bronze statue will sit on rocks looking out to sea just outside the harbour wall.
Georgina Baker was born in Folkestone in 1972. A keen scuba diver, Georgina began swimming as a baby and to this day she swims two miles a week. Georgina enjoys the arts, is a qualified interior designer and aerobics instructor, and works part time helping disabled people through physiotherapy.
Georgina, who lives in Sandgate, Folkestone with her husband and two children, said, “I am really pleased to have been selected as Cornelia’s model and my children are excited that their mum has been chosen to be the 'Folkestone Mermaid'.”

Cornelia Parker was nominated for the Turner Prize in 1997, is a Royal Academician and was awarded an OBE in 2010. Her 2010 solo exhibition ‘Doubtful Sound’ was recently on show at the Baltic Centre for Contemporary Art, Gateshead. Her work was included in the 16th Sydney Biennale in 2008 and in the 8th Sharjah Biennial, 2007. She had major solo exhibitions at Birmingham’s Ikon Gallery and the Museo De Arte de Lima, Peru in 2007. Other notable solo exhibitions include Wurttembergischer Kunstverein, Stuttgart; Galleria d’Arte Moderna e Contemporanea, Turin; ICA, Philadelphia; Aspen Museum of Art, Colorado; Chicago Arts Club and the ICA, Boston. Her work is represented in many international collections including The Arts Council of England, Tate Gallery, London and the Museum of Modern Art, New York. 
UBS has made a generous donation to help realise this artwork.

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