Rainbow Dreaming  

Hannah Mermaid

Hannah Mermaid with wild spinner dolphins in Hawaii
Image: © Pat Stacey

My Life as a Mermaid

I was drawing mermaids before the age of three and have continued creating mermaid art to this day. At age nine I made my first mermaid tail out of orange plastic material. In 2002 I created my second mermaid tail, a fully functional tail much faster than my childhood one. The unusual construction was a plastic boomerang, two coat hangers, flippers and a lot of duct tape inside wetsuit material! A true Aussie mermaid! After much research and development I arrived at the perfect hydrodynamic tail - and began filming with various underwater surf filmmakers.

I swam the clear blue waters of Hawaii with Jack McCoy for the biggest budget surf film by the surf industry to date - ‘Blue Horizon’, starring free surfer pro Dave Rastovich and two times world champion, Andy Irons. I also featured in Dave’s surf-music film ‘Life Like Liquid’. I have performed as a mermaid in some of the world’s largest aquariums, TV commercials, short films, large events and remote tropical island locations. I’ve been blessed to swim with humpback whales in Tonga, dolphins in Hawaii, turtles in Byron Bay, and sea lions in the Galapagos Islands.

My greatest passion is to embody the mythical creatures of my dreams in photos and film. Being a professional photographer as well has given me expertise on both sides of the camera. I’ve also learned to act underwater, and convey a lot of emotion and expression without speech. It’s a continually challenging and exciting profession: swimming with whales 100 times my size, overcoming my fear of sharks!

I am currently working with Surfers for Cetaceans to end the slaughter and captivity of whales and dolphins. I have traveled the world to speak and participate in events such as Earth Day in LA, Green Day USA, three separate International Whaling Commissions, and Greenfest Australia, as well as appearing on various TV news shows in support of whales and dolphins.
David Rastovich and I helped organise the surfer’s paddle out in the blood of the dolphin-killing bay in Taiji, Japan, in 2007. This action, which included TV stars Hayden Panettiere (Heroes) and Isabel Lucas (Home & Away), was an attempt to end the slaughter of over 20,000 dolphins every year in Japanese waters.

I feel the most free and expressive while underwater. I think there has been a dreamtime when mermaids were part of our reality. But with the technological age, we’ve lost touch with that. Being a mermaid is my lifelong expression of joy. I hope everyone finds their own passion…and lives it! “

Hannah Fraser, photographer, actress, activist, Byron Bay

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