The Aerial Mermaid Clone Army (Tamara Arenovich and Ashley Hurlock) 

are collaborating with Thin(k) Blank Human (Lisa Anita Wegner) and Pink Moth (Ray Cammaert) 

on a performance created for the MashUp Art Party February 27 2016.

Curated by Kirsten Leila Edwards and hosted by Hercinia Arts Collective.

Mighty Brave Productions and Haus of Dada present:

the way back home

a tale of isolation, loneliness, discovery and connection. 
the storm within can overwhelm. it can paralyze. it can destroy. 
but it can be calmed by the touch of another. 

this is a story of finding peace and belonging in a vast expanse of emptiness.

“the way back home” is a journey being embarked upon by artists Tamara Arenovich, Ray Cammaert, Ashley Hurlock and Lisa Anita Wegner, with the aim of combining their talents into a new modern dance piece. This performance art installation will be created in the rented space of the Hercinia Arts Collective, an appropriate beginning as it was the Collective that commissioned this first collaboration. 

The piece will incorporate dance-based movement, trapeze and aerial arts, musical soundscapes, and projections based on Arenovich’s own ocean filming. An underwater fantasia of connection is created as the artists use their performing personae to move from isolation to vulnerable openness, and finally to the newfound strength and purpose that comes in discovering harmony with others. 

The piece will draw on intensely personal passions of the artists – including the search for truth through performing personae, the need to conserve the strange mysteries of the world’s oceans, and most importantly, the healing possibilities of art. After experiencing great losses and trauma, the artists in the collective have come to see art as both a home and therapy; and now they seek to extend that, to create a community of healing that embraces the audience. 

The Aerial Mermaid Clone Army (Mermaids T&A) and Thin(k) Blank Human (Lisa) were brought together to create a piece for Toronto’s Hercinia Arts Collective’s Mash-Up Art Party. Artists of different mediums were paired up to collaborate and invited to create a genre-crossing “mash-up” of their respective art forms, to debut on the evening of the party.  

Shortly after learning of this pairing, Mermaid T had the pleasure of experiencing Lisa and Ray’s performance of Thin(k) Blank Human and spoke with them after the show. The inclusion of live music brought such an added intensity to the piece that the mermaids were eager to invite Ray into the partnership. The collective of Pink Moth, Thin(k) Blank Human, and the Aerial Mermaid Clone Army was born. 

THE AERIAL MERMAID CLONE ARMY is Tamara Arenovich (Mermaid T) and Ashley Hurlock (Mermaid A), an emerging aerial duo in the Toronto circus scene with a flair for creative, dramatic and whimsical ideas in bringing the fantasy and allure of the Mermaid to life for land creatures.

TAMARA ARENOVICH is an avid shark enthusiast, scuba diver and freediver. She is an aerialist and dancer, with a particular love for aerial silks, trapeze (both flying and static) and Argentine tango. On a magical dive off the coast of Molokai, Tamara spent a considerable amount of time alone in the depths with a school of hammerhead sharks and was profoundly moved by it. With a gleam in her eye and a mighty swoosh of her long, lustrous tail, Tamara returned to the surface with a plan to bring mermaid beauty to the skies. 

At a young age, ASHLEY HURLOCK spent countless hours pretending to be a mermaid and playing dress up with her sister and cousins… and never quite grew out of it. A passion for dance, theatre and circus led to years of ballet training, along with a little modern dance and acrobatics for good measure. Extensive work with her high school drama department helped to express her creative side, but something was always missing. Many years later Ashley decided to take an introduction to aerial silks and everything finally made sense hanging upside down in the air. The main focus of Ashley’s aerial training has been on the silks and the static trapeze, as well as time spent on various other types of aerial apparatus.

RAY CAMMAERT is a singer/songwriter, record producer and multi-instrumentalist. Under the moniker of Pink Moth, he writes lyrical, experimental and spirited pop music. He is also a founding member of the band Ossington Rippers, and has lent his composing talents to the soundtracks for TV and film. He owns Tinshop recording studio in Toronto, and is the touring keyboardist in ambient rock band Raised By Swans. 

LISA ANITA WEGNER is the creative producer of Mighty Brave Productions, an award-winning multi-media production company. After suffering a trauma-related brain injury (c-PTSD), she began exploring art video and performance art as therapy. Almost immediately, her work gravitated toward an investigation of Persona and the possibilities of discovering authenticity through artifice. Her work has been shown at the Phoenix Art Museum, Art Gallery of Ontario, Toronto Art Fair, Buddies in Bad Times, and NXNE Festival. Her ventures into large-scale performance installations include the 12-foot "Queen Of The Parade” which was commissioned by Partners in Art. Recent performances include The Feminist Art Conference, Theatre Passe Muraille and the ongoing PROCESS performance art event at Artscape Youngplace.

The Mermaids, Cammaert and Wegner bring a diverse range of performance craft to draw on and immediately found themselves connecting on the same artistic wavelength. It was truly a serendipitous arrangement, and one that all the artists in the collective are eager to explore.