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The artist reimagining Glossop

Glossop artist Mermaid Tales talked with us to discuss her latest paintings, which have been gaining a reputation for their reimagining of famous Glossop locations.

Mermaid Tales – aka Helen Gerrard - is an artist of multiple disciplines and has been an artist since she can remember. From her paintings depicting Glastonbury scenes to the various ornamental pieces that decorate her home, Helen is a talented artist in many forms.

“I have always drawn and painted since I was little.” Helen said. “I went to college and did art there, I wanted to do illustration but was told I couldn’t draw! So I studied fine art and sculpture at university which was a bit of a waste of time.”

Developing her craft over the years after uni, it was not until more recently that Helen decided to start painting her town of Glossop in her now well-defined style.

Speaking on how the idea to paint Glossop areas came about, Helen told us “Some neighbours of ours have an Airbnb and they wanted me to do some pictures. I told them it had to be Glossop really, what with being in Glossop! So, I did the first Glossop paintings and they really liked them. An exhibition at Victoria Hall last November then invited me to display them and I sold my first big Glossop one there last November. I have just carried on doing them since.”

After the initial idea came about spurred on by the neighbours’ requests, the ball has kept rolling for artist Mermaid Tales. “Mark Jessop is having an exhibition at Victoria Hall at the end of April,” Helen said, “and he has invited me and another artist.” Helen has also been asked to produce a piece for the 150th anniversary of Dinting primary school.

The paintings have gained such a fast reputation thanks to Mermaid Tales having adopted her own specific style over the years, and this is seen perhaps best through the Glossop pictures – with each one featuring a bird staring out at the viewer.

And this was not just a random choice to include in the paintings either, as Helen explained to us. “The crows and the Jackdaws are from animals we have rescued – we rescued a crow from outside the town hall and a Jackdaw used to come down the chimney!”

It is details like these in the paintings that make the works stand out amongst others and bring a fresh perspective to Glossop. “I include the birds and also I like to include these lovely buildings that we don’t really see very often, with weird stone architecture – I like to highlight it for people to show them why we love Glossop.”

To check out more from Mermaid Tales, head to Helens Mermaid Tales on Facebook. Helen told us that “we have sold some more prints locally, but we haven’t done many. I want to do cards as well, as I’ve sold some in the craft centre,” so keep an eye out on the Facebook for future updates and new works.

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