Jason deCaires Taylor, an English contemporary sculptor, does not pick any place for his enormous sculptures, but installs them underwater to create artificial reefs for an abundance of marine life. His work “Vicissitudes” in Grenada and his latest sculpture “The Silent Evolution” in Mexico are probably some of the most impressing Eco art pieces.
Eco artist Jason deCaires Taylor
During the 1970s, as demands for environmental protection grew louder, an art movement, urging to raise awareness for environmental challenges was born. In the 21st century this eco art movement did not fail to affect the ocean. Jason deCaires Taylor, a talented English sculptor, decided to make a statement, creating artificial reefs by installing sculptures at the bottom of the ocean.
Taylor’s art can be understood in two different ways. On the one hand, as eco art pieces, his sculptures are raising awareness of environmental issues, by promoting and underlining the need of protecting our eco system. His sculptures, once set into the water, transform into amazing artificial reefs, enhanced by the growth of marine life on their surfaces. On the other hand, Taylor’s sculptures are constantly evolving and growing, as their natural environment is continuously changing. Most of his work includes sculptures of persons. By using human sculptures, which are transformed into marine life habitats, Taylor tries to create a representation of how humans are constantly changing in unity with the eco system.
Over more, Taylor’s intention is to create tourist magnets, made to relocate scuba divers. The reefs where he puts his statues have been destroyed by hurricanes or other environmental hazards. By creating new artificial dive sites, he gives time to natural reefs for recovery.
Even though, “The silent evolution” being his biggest project so far, Taylor produced already several equally interesting sculptures. “Vicissitudes” is a ring of 26 live-size children sculptures facing into the current. The children are sitting on a cement base, also constructed to encourage coral growth. With the coral growth, the children will also grow in height, just as real children do.
Another interesting piece of his art is “The Gardener of Hope”. This is a sculpture of a little girl, lying in the middle of a coral garden, nurturing the corals surrounding her. “The man on fire” instead, is a sculpture of a live-size man. The sculpture has little holes carved in the upper body part, where yellow fire corals were implanted. The corals, which were used for those two sculptures were rescued from damaged reefs and implanted in the sculptures, giving them space to grow.
Underwater Museum by Jason deCaires Taylor
In Granada and Mexico, where great parts of natural reefs were destroyed, Jason deCaires Taylor even constructed whole Eco art underwater museums. The Cancun Natural Marine Park and the Molière Bay Underwater Museum have become popular tourist sites.
The Cancun Underwater Museum is located off the coast of the Isla de las Mujeres, near Cancun. The project started in 2009, with the goal of building an artificial reef to draw away tourists from the reefs around the area. The Cancun Natural Marine Park had been damaged by a hurricane earlier in the year of 2009, leaving most of the natural reefs in a spoiled condition. The main attraction of the park are the 403 sculptures of “The silent evolution”, all built up after the example of real people living in the area around the National Park.
Another National Park with underwater sculptures is the Molière Bay Underwater Museum. It is located in the National Marine Park, near Granada in the West Indies. It is home to sixty-five sculptures, which are serving as well as artificial reefs. Just as Cancun, the area has been destroyed by several storms. The sculptures now offer new habitats to an abundance of juvenile fish, colorful corals and other marine life.
Photos: courtesy of Jason deCaires Taylor
Jason's website: http://www.underwatersculpture.com/