Jeanette Sendler Master in Costume Design: Edinburgh College of Art
fibre artist
Hat in the Cat Studio
Hat Collection
Mermaid Husk

Mermaid Husk

Fri 1 June - 26 July
Fishing Museum, Anstruther, Fife

Legends about mermaids are recorded all over the world in communities living next to the sea. In Japan where large earthquakes are common, legend has it that this is caused by the curse of the mermaid.

In European fairy tales, mermaids are creatures known to live in the sea and on the land. When they make the transition from sea to land they often leave behind a piece of textile, the tail, often hidden behind a rock. This enables the mermaid to slip back in the sea when required.

During my research I learned about stories from Japanese and Scottish folklore with the occurrence of natural disasters, such as the tsunami.


The exhibition is a gentle reminder of recent events which has caused such devastation for thousands of people in Japan.Both the tsunami and mythological figures are transient, appearing and disappearing very quickly. Textile husks are left behind on the land by sea creatures, slipping back and forth from land to sea. This installation of mermaid tails is knitted on a fine gauge machine using partly monofilament yarn which is reminiscent of nylon fishing net.

The knitting has been done on Shetland, the most northerly geographical point in Scotland , famous for their skills in knitting and also a community with close ties to the sea. The knitted shapes within the tails originated from Japanese folded origami which was opened out from two to three dimensions. Two artists living in Scotland and working in different mediums, one originally from Japan , the other from Germany , reflect on a worldly disaster.

Project supported by Fife Arts development fund.

Jeanette Sendler

May 2012

Mermaid Husk
Big Cat Textiles Newburgh

Big Cat Textiles
3 Clinton Street
Newburgh, Fife

Scotland KY14 6DP

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