Megan Dunn: The Mermaid Chronicles
with works by Andrew Brusso, Olivia Erlanger, Julia Holden, Alexis Hunter, Suzanne Husky, Brett Stanley, Lena Maria Thüring, and featuring Annette Kellerman, MeduSirena, Hannah Mermaid, Merman Jax, and Julie Atlas Muz
21 October – 18 December 2022, Adam Art Gallery, Wellington.
The Mermaid Chronicles explores writer Megan Dunn’s longstanding fascination for mermaids and the world of professional mermaiding. Titled after a long prose poem Dunn wrote in the early 00s, the exhibition is a first for Te Pātaka Toi Adam Art Gallery as a mode of autobiographical curating on a topic that showcases the professional mermaid and tracks this mythical figure through high and popular culture. Dunn brings together vintage artefacts with painting, sculpture, underwater photographs, and videos by artists and professional photographers, and features several high-profile mermaid performers. She tells stories, explains art works, and quotes from the mermaid community in wall texts, a sound work and a PowerPoint presentation. Recognising the mermaid as a mythological figure that continues to capture our imaginations, she also acknowledges the ways that mermaids serve society as creatures who bridge land and sea, human and non-human, fantasy and reality. Owning up to her own preoccupations, Dunn asks us all to take mermaids seriously.