Mother takes to modelling for new mermaid statue like a fish to water

A bronze statue of a mother striking the same pose as Copenhagen’s landmark Little Mermaid has been unveiled at the start of a seaside town’s arts festival.

Georgina Baker, 38, was chosen from a shortlist of 50 people to model for the £25,000 nude statue which has been installed at Folkestone harbour in Kent.

The statue, by Turner Prize-nominee Cornelia Parker, was created after Mrs Baker responded to an advert dropped through 20,000 letterboxes in the resort requesting a model. Ms Parker was said to have wanted a robust and “strong 21st-century woman” rather than a “stick-thin model” – and Mrs Baker fitted the bill.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

Married with two children, she is a keen scuba diver and a qualified interior designer and aerobics instructor who works part-time helping disabled people through physiotherapy.

She said: “I’m really pleased to have been selected as Cornelia’s model and my children are excited that their mum has been chosen as the Folkestone Mermaid.”

Ms Parker said: “This was not a beauty contest. I was not looking for a lookalike of the idealised Copenhagen mermaid but for a real person and a free spirit.”

The artwork is based on Copenhagen’s Little Mermaid statue, commissioned in 1909 by Carl Jacobsen.

Sculptor Edvard Eriksen asked his wife Eline to pose for the body, while its head was modelled on ballerina Ellen Price who declined to pose nude.