Many of you may be familiar with Jason deCaires Taylor, sculptor and environmental activist. His work is renowned and highly known. A new sculpture garden has been created in Atlantic Ocean, Las Coloradas, Lanzarote.
Working in partnership with The Cabildo of Lanzarote, Jason deCaires Taylor constructed the first underwater contemporary art museum in the Atlantic Ocean and Europe on the 28th of Feb 2016. Situated in clear blue waters off the south east coast of Lanzarote, Spain, the unique, permanent installation is constructed at around 14m deep and features 10 different installations with over 300 figurative works.
It most celebrated works include: The Raft of Lampedusa, The Rubicon and The Vortex.
The project draws on the dialogue between art and nature. It is designed on a conservational level to create a large scale artificial reef to aggregate local fish species and increase marine biomass whilst, on the other hand, questions the commodification and delineation of the worlds natural resources and raises awareness to current threats facing the worlds oceans. The central concept is depicted by means of a monumental gateway and wall, which include a series of installations based on the dialogue between past and present and the divisions within society with both political and social comment. The works incorporate for the first time large architectural components and an underwater botanical sculpture garden referencing local flora of Lanzarote, which has unique status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
The Museum is constructed using environmentally friendly, pH neutral inert materials and the formations are tailored to suit endemic marine life. The museum was completed in December 2016, and is the first time large scale architectural elements have been deployed underwater occupying a barren area of sand-covered sea bed (approximately 50m x 50m), The artist invited local residents and visiting tourists to participate in the project by modeling for a life casts. A process where the body is covered in skin safe sculpting materials and a cast of the body and face is made to produce a figurative sculpture to be included in the museum.
The project has created a habitat area for marine life whilst defining Lanzarote as a modern, dynamic and cultural island celebrating its unique natural resources. The project is the first underwater museum in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean and over time will become the first destination of artificial reef diving among the European diving market, leading to increases in revenue for the local economy and help support the diving, snorkelling and sailing industries. It will also attract cultural tourism with higher purchasing power that will reaffirm Lanzarote´s cultural and artistic affluence based on the legacy of Spanish artist Cesar Manrique. The permanent installation is designed to last for hundreds of years but will be an ever-changing exhibition as marine life changes and transforms the surfaces of the sculptures.
For those who are unfamiliar with Mr. Taylor’s work, you can read up at The Creators Project.