NOTE:in 2016 Sirena has been moved to a drier location off Stage Coach pond. The springs are still flowing... the mermaid is higher and drier (coordinates updated 8/27/2016). -Tygress
Sirena, see her face in the rippling light
A flash of fin, at the edge of your view
The sighs that melancholy the dark of night
The tears, born of heartbreak, run, too.
And you see Sirena, in her spring clear as dew
Those eyes, how wistful they seem
She risked all, for the hope of a love so true
That's Sirena -- is she only a dream?
She risked all, for the hope of a love so true
That's Sirena --
Is she only a dream?
The tale of the selkie is well known, especially to Celts. This is the first time I’ve heard of it in an Amer-First Nation context. [Though there is a Cinderella story, and other shared folklore themes, if you’re into the whole comparative literature thing.] Sirena’s story follows the typical format – she can have her mortal lover so long as he doesn’t see her in her mythic form. As plays out throughout folklore, these bargains end in sorrow – usually through some means or other the partner is returned/taken to the water. Ah, we love melancholy, yes?
A highlight of any Salado visit, this sculpture by Troy Kelley immortalizes the local tale of Sirena. Her spring keeps flowing, watered, it’s said, by her tears. The statue is also listed in the Smithsonian Inventory (SIRIS) IAS TX000479 (visit link
) (also waypointed)
DETAILS: Sculpture: bronze; Base: limestone. Created 1985. Dedicated Jan. 1, 1986. Sculpture: approx. H. 3 ft. 5 in. x W. 2 ft. 5 in.; Base: approx. H. 1 ft. 5 in. x W. 4 ft.(Inscription -- on fin:) Troy 1985
If you have time, wander down to her original location in the springs (see nearby waymark Salado Springs (N 30° 56.629 W 097° 32.196) and spend a little time on the creek. Maybe cool your tootsies in the water. Fish? I’m told there are trout – but cannot confirm that. Still, the spot and the sculpture are worth some contemplative enjoyment.
The Story Behind the Statue (Prellop Fine Art Gallery) (visit link
In Indian times during this age of enchantment, there was an Indian maiden who yearned day and night for the love of one special warrior. But alas, the warrior would not return her affection. And the maiden, through tears in her eyes, began to lament her unrequited love as she combed her long hair and looked at her reflection in the creek.
One afternoon a magical catfish, being a curious sort, surfaced in the shallows near the maiden and inquired as to her sadness. Sirena tearfully shared her troubles. Twitching his whiskers with anticipation, the old catfish promised to cast a love spell on the warrior if the maiden would agree to become a mermaid one night a month during the full moon...for one year. "For the love of your warrior" the magical fish said, "you must agree to share your love with me. But, if at any time, human eyes ever see you in mermaid form, you will remain a mermaid forever."
The lovesick maiden eagerly agreed to the terms. The spell was cast and the warrior and maiden were soon to wed. The maiden was true to her word. Every full moon, she quietly and secretly left her husband's side, tiptoed in the quiet of the night into the creek and was transformed into Sirena, a mermaid, and shared her love with the old magical catfish.
On the last full moon of the year, she caught a fish hook in her fin. To remove it, she sat upon a rock well lit by the full moon. Her warrior husband awoke to find her missing. Knowing her love for the magical creek, the warrior crept down to the water. There was Sirena still sitting on the rock trying without success to remove the painful fish hook.
Their eyes met in the moonlight and he called her name "Sirena." At that moment, the old catfish pulled her back into the deep cold water to remain a mermaid forever. A love that was given and a love that was lost.
A resident of Salado, Troy dedicated the statue of Sirena to the Village of Salado in 1989. The inspiration of Sirena came from a story told to him by his grandmother.
Troy has studied in Europe and various schools in the United States. Sculpting in cast bronze, Troy's work consits of monuments, busts (portraits) and commission work by prominent collectors across America.
Troy Kelley Biography (source troysculptor.com) (visit link
Troy’s studio is located in Salado, Texas, which is about 50 miles north of Austin, Texas. Salado is a small village, home to many artists where they are welcome to express their talents as well as market their creations to the myriad of visitors who come from all over the world to enjoy and purchase the wonderful artistic creations.
Troy received his undergraduate degree in art from Midwestern University and a graduate degree from the University of Maryland. He has studied in Italy, Germany, and the Corcoran School of Art in Washington, D. C.
His work is usually realistic, covering a variety of subjects in cast bronze. However, recently he has been creating a series of sculptures cast in clear acrylic, which have been very well received.
He has recently completed two seven foot bronze figures for the new Killeen Regional Airport, a six foot bronze figure of “The Lord is My Shepherd”, which may be seen in front of the Salado Methodist Church. Another completed commission is a seventeen foot tall monument depicting the journey of the Chisholm Trail for the Bell County Museum.
Another of Troy’s artistic creations is “The Sphere of Knowledge”, a two ton, three foot granite ball recently installed in a fountain. The ball rests on a plane of water and rotate freely with the slightest touch.
Troy’s latest shows include Works in Progress, New York University; Venice Italy; Texas One Hundred, Salado, Texas; and Loveland Sculpture Invitational, Loveland, Colorado.
The works of this great sculptor reside in numerous private and public collections.
Another statue by artist Troy Kelley is nearby: “Billy Goat Gruff” greets all hoping to cross the Lenticular Truss Pedestrian Bridge N 30° 56’ 53.82” W 097° 32’ 12.28”