Selkie of Mikladur, Faroe Islands. Are you familiar with the selkie? No – not a mermaid – she is a seal at sea and a woman on land. She is transformation embodied; shedding her skin to transform and walk on land. Legends imbue her skin with magical power and hold the key to her freedom. “Selkie stories are all very sad, and even the ones that end well have a poignancy; a selkie mother may come and dance every year with her children on Midsummer Eve, but what about the rest of the year’s yearning? What about the lovelorn husband left behind? Against this incurable sorrow, this irreconcilable difference and distance between the loved ones, is always set the spellbinding beauty of selkies, whether they be male or female. It’s never worth what is sacrificed for a land-person to claim this beauty, but they are helpless to resist it.” M Lanagan.