Nobody knows where she came from. The best guess is Japan. What people once called The Far East. In the mid-19th century, Japanese fisherman would craft curios, like this one, to supplement their income. They were bought by sailors, who brought them back to Europe, to astonish and delight and to this day, this fascinating little artefact can still make you draw breath.

X-rays show that she is not a monkey. Her skeleton is wire, her skin is fish and her hair is human.

As an artist, I find her mesmerising. She 'lives' in the Boyd Dawkins room at Buxtom Museum and Art Gallery, a remarkable place that takes you back to a bygone age.


But what would today's mermaids look like?


That is where my story begins...