image: ellen gallagher ‘bird in hand’
the mermaid keeps being drawn to landfolk art. half a moon ago, she went to the conveniently located tate modern, an art museum directly by the thames. there she saw some very interesting paintings and installations by an artist called ellen gallagher. the mermaid is convinced that she is another mermaid ambassador. she found some evidence in the exhibition, in the mentioning of an atlantic based mermaid community called ‘drexciya’ and the depiction of land- ad merfolk hybrids. the artist was also described as having come to art through studying merfolk.
at first, the mermaid was very amused by the similarity of some of the artwork to landfolk swim caps. but soon, the mermaid learned more about the works from her translator, for instance, how the artist looked at the violence of landfolk against one another in the name of wealth, a concept which the mermaid still finds difficult to get her tail around. the mermaid was also told that landfolk, by telling some of their species that they are not really of their species, disown these landfolk and treat them really badly, like (or worse) than an inanimate object (which most landfolk seem to disproportionally cherish). these unfortunate landfolk are seen ‘closer to nature’. the artist seemed to be playing with this assumption in many different registers, which the mermaid found rather intriguing. for the mermaid, the works seemed to show ‘closer to nature’ as a fun place that feels far nicer than what the mermaid has seen of landfolk society so far. most landfolk art appears to the mermaid like some kind of mirror. however, in this case, the mermaid wonders if these artworks are some kind of proposal for a community that is closer to that of the merfolk. now that would be a landfolk insight!