Friday, 20 September 2013

Underwater Wonder World

Imagine yourself diving into the crystal-clear blue waters of the Caribbean, into that unique blue you can find nowhere else in the world. Imagine yourself exploring the sheer beauty of the coral reefs and swimming among the most colourful species of fish and other underwater organisms. Pure magic! Now go a step further and imagine suddenly finding yourself among absolutely stunning sculptures scattered on the seabed. It can only be that you have unknowingly entered a magic world... We are precisely taking you on a guided tour of that enticing and fantastic place.

Jason de Caires Taylor, an artist of English-Guyanese origin based in Cancun, Mexico, graduated in Sculpture in London and is a qualified diving instructor and underwater naturalist. He has combined his qualifications and experience to create the world’s first underwater sculpture park, off the coast of Grenada, West Indies – listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. Since then and particularly from 2006 onwards, he has been involved in his most recent and equally awesome project, MUSA (Museo Subaquatico de Arte), submerged off the coast of Cancun, Mexico. This is a startling collection of over 486 monumental sculptures with a two-pronged objective: on the one hand, they are meant to be a permanent underwater exhibition offering viewers an absolutely unique aspect of art. On the other, they aim to achieve a functional aspect, by drawing public awareness to the fragility of underwater habitats and deterring harmful action against it.

One of the most relevant and interesting features of Taylor’s works is that they have been devised to be assimilated by the ocean and foster the breeding of more coral reefs, as they are made of a special kind of pH-neutral maritime cement that welcomes microscopic organisms. These sculptures are, therefore, created to become the source and bed of living systems, thereby showing that human intervention can also be positive and life-encouraging. As a result and since they have, themselves, become living reef systems, touching them is strictly forbidden, as it would inevitably cause damage. However, snorkelers, scuba divers and tourists in glass-bottom boats are welcome and they all visit this amazing underwater installation, which has become one of the main attractions of the place.

Taylor has also become an award winner photographer, owing to his dramatic images capturing the metamorphosing effects of the ocean on his ever-changing sculptures. His works can, therefore, be said to be ephemeral, since their aspect keeps on changing with the dynamic and fluctuating environment of the ocean, making each visit to this site a unique experience.

Among his magnificent life-size sculptures, visitors can see the “Man on Fire”, a figure now completely covered with a fire-coloured coral, the “Collector of Dreams” with several in-bottled messages of peace and pro-environmental purposes, or the “Gardner of Hope”, collecting different kinds of coral formations as an underwater garden.

Further phases have been planned for this pioneering, environment-friendly project, which include the invitation of local and international artists to create their own sculptures to be installed in this museum.

This completely innovative art project is remarkable for its uniqueness and for the success achieved in terms of maritime conservation. Furthermore, Taylor’s deeply touching and inspirational art works aim to encourage a change in human behaviour towards appreciating the spectacular natural beauty of the underwater wonder world.

No comments:

Post a Comment