Jason deCaires Taylor Turned His 2 Passions Into Unique Underwater Gallery
Read how a SCUBA instructor finally got up the nerve to dive into sculpture
Although Jason deCaires Taylor studied sculpture in college, he was working as a dive instructor when he had his “lightbulb moment.” Realizing this was not the path he wanted to stay on for the rest of his life, at 29 years old he decided to chart his own course. He was living in Grenada at the time.
What is an aspiring sculptor who is also an expert diver to do?
“So I approached the government and my dive center, and talked to marine biologists about this idea of doing an underwater sculpture garden.”
That was more than a decade ago.
He began sinking his artwork–massive cement sculptures that weigh literally tons. He found locations that were devoid of coral beds. The floor is predominantly sand, but the currents allow for healthy aquatic life. He liked the idea of putting sculptures that were like “fish out of water”…that would actually become a place the fish and corals and other ocean dwellers would turn into their home.
The end result are underwater sculpture galleries where water, light, and algae all contribute to the final composition.
Assembling these massive sculpture in the ocean is not easy. While the pieces are initially built in a dry land studio, they must be connected underwater. Taylor often spends days underwater piecing it together. To ensure the sculptures stay in their desired location despite hurricanes and tropical storms, each piece is firmly anchored to the seabed.
Taylor combines his passion for the sea with his artwork. He wants to create a refuge for sea life. His original concept was to create an additional place for tourists in Grenada to swim and see the ocean life. Before his efforts the one beautiful snorkeling spot was so overrun it was becoming destroyed. Humans were loving it to death.
One of his pieces is hollow specifically so lobsters can find their way inside, safely away from the hooks of local fisherman.
“The Silent Evolution”, shown above features 450 life-sized cement figures. Each figure is cast from 90 different live models from the area. Because of the effect the ocean has on figures, even though they looked identical to start, after just one year in the ocean no two pieces look the same.
In this shot of “the Silent Evolution” you can see how the algae attaches itself to the cement, which is specifically designed to accept and not harm the aquatic life.
We’ve featured Jason’s work before. His work is unique in the world. Some of his pieces utilize the tides as part of the “performance” as we saw in “Rising Tide” which is in the Thames River.
His ocean pieces double as artificial reefs, as we saw in “Ocean Atlas”, his largest sculpture. That piece is located off the Bahamas.
Read the original article by on Ideas.Ted
See more of Jason deCaires Taylor’s work at his site
Pictured, “The Silent Evolution” and