When I first thought of writting an article about underwater art, I didnt know what to expect, but I hoped I will find something good. What I found exceeded my expectations by a mile. Let me tell You a story of Jason deCaires Taylor, who quickly became one of my favorite artists on this Planet.
Jason Taylor DeCaires was born in 1974. The artist grew up partly in Europe and partly in Asia, where he spent a lot of time diving and admiring the coral reefs off the coast of Malaysia. In 1988, Taylor graduated from the Institute of Art in London, then studied sculpturing in traditional stone. After school and over the passage of 12 age, Jason’s globe-trotting trips as a paparazzo, a scuba diving instructor and a theatrical set designer had left him filling unfulfilled in his art passion. So he made a change, he baught a small diving center in the Caribbean to support a renewed focus on his art. What he soon discovered was that his two seemingly different passions—art and the ocean—weren’t mutually exclusive. And just like that, water has become the natural surroundings of his sculptures.
Delighted by an underwater world, he noticed its degradation, to which tourist diving contributes (among other things) . Because of the divers who admiring the coral reefs, touch them and thus destroy them.
It is no wonder that his work exposes mostly under water. But these are not ordinary sculptures. Apart from the fact that they have unquestionable artistic value – thereby generating around themselfs a very mysterious and somewhat ghostly aura – they also have a very practical side. Namely they are made of a special environmentally friendly materials that have attracted corals and other small sea creatures to form artificial reefs out of the sculptures, thus generating new ecosystems. The process of change is so rapid that after a few months the sculptures look like they were embedded there for centuries.
Most of Taylor’s sculptures are situated in two institutions created by him: an underwater sculpture park, located off the coast of Grenada and Subaquatico Museo de Arte, which is an underwater museum located in the coastal waters near the Mexican city of Cancun.
One of his biggest art insatlations was created in 2009, within the National Marine Park of Cancun, Isla Mujeres and Punta Nizuc (Mexico). Surrounding corals are one of the most popular diving spots in the world and are visited by approx. 750,000 divers each year, placing an immense pressure on its resources.
At a depth of nine meters, 400 life-size sculptures were sunk, with the total installations occupying an area of over 420sq metres of barren seabed and weighing over 200 tons. It is a part of The Silent Evolution project, which is implemented in the course of MUSA Subacuático Museo de Arte in Cancún.
The projects purpose was to draw out the attention of tourists from nearby damaged reefs in a natural reserve. And it does the job. It shows what is under the water, while protecting corals and attracting crowds of visitors.
What’s more, Underwater Museum in Mexico is not only accessible for divers. Thanks to the glass bottom boat, this amazing underwater world can be admired by every one of us.
Below a small selection of his extraordinary figures – more can be seen on the website of the artist: http://www.underwatersculpture.com/