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A Journey through Aesthetic Realms

Wondrous Underwater Structures, Part 1 of 2: Museums and Sculptures for Ocean Protection

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Many of the world's artists care deeply about the Earth and express their concern by bringing marine environments into their work. One practitioner of this new art form who focuses on the ocean is British sculptor, scuba diver, marine conservationist, and underwater photographer Jason deCaires Taylor. Jason’s work conveys many important messages, while at the same time creating opportunities to support the growth of marine ecosystems. After more than 15 years of work, Jason’s large-scale “underwater museums” and “sculpture parks” now span the globe, with each site a submerged and tidal marine environment.

Two years after the 2004 Hurricane Ivan caused extensive damage to Molinere Bay on the west coast of Grenada in the West Indies, Jason deCaries Taylor constructed artificial sculptures in the local reef using long-lasting pH-neutral cement to provide a new base for marine life. The next project we’ll look at by Jason is on display at the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), or Underwater Museum of Art in Cancún, Mexico - one of the largest and most ambitious underwater art attractions in the world. Another one of Jason deCaires Taylor’s major projects is the Museo Atlántico (Atlantic Museum), the first underwater art museum in European waters. The artworks are arranged in six groups, each focusing on a different theme, including climate change, the refugee crisis, and the merging of nature and humanity.

In 2019 Jason worked with Australia’s Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) to set up Coral Greenhouse - the first underwater museum in the southern hemisphere. This work also shares the message of conserving and restoring coral reefs, for which Australia is famous. In 2021, Jason deCaires Taylor completed The Underwater Museum of Cannes, France in the Mediterranean Sea and the Museum of Underwater Sculpture Ayia Napa (MUSAN) at Pernera Beach, Cyprus, taking him 4 years. The MUSAN museum aims to raise public awareness about the declining state of the world’s oceans including the Mediterranean Sea, which are highly polluted and suffer from overfishing and plastic waste.
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