At Ecophiles, we’ve always been fans of artist Jason deCaires Taylor’s sculptures. Now the final phase of his monumental project Museo Atlantico in Lanzarote, Spain, has been inaugurated by the island’s President, Pedro San Gines. Imagine 300 submerged works spread over 12 installations – the imagination boggles – and these works, at around 14m deep, will turn into artificial reefs over time, supporting the rich marine life.
It is also the first time the artist and conservationist has installed large-scale architectural works, including a 100 ton, 30m-long wall, an underwater botanical sculpture garden referencing local flora and fauna, and a colossal formation of over 200 life size-human figures in a gyre.
Underwater Museum Sculptures: Human Gyre
This Museo Atlantico exhibit is called Human Gyre, featuring over 200 life-size figurative works creating a vast circular formation (gyre). According to the artist, “the installation reminds us that we have evolved from marine life, and are all subject to the movements and will of the ocean. The piece embodies our naked vulnerability to its inherent power, and our fragility in the face of its cycles and immense force. It provides the oxygen we breathe, regulates our climate and provides a vital source of nutrition to millions.”
The Portal shows the animal/human sculpture looking into a large square mirror, which reflects the moving surface of the ocean. According to the artist, “Forming part of the underwater botanical garden the concept portrays water within water, an interface or looking glass into another world, the blue world. The mirror is elevated on cactus forms which contain a series of small compartments and “living stations” designed to attract octopus, sea urchins and juvenile fish.”
Crossing the Rubicon
A group of 35 figures walk towards an underwater wall and entrance, a boundary between two realities and a portal to the Atlantic Ocean. The wall, which is part industrial, part organic, stretches 30 metres long and 4 metres high and contains a single rectangular doorway at its centre.
According to the artist, “the wall is intended to be a monument to absurdity, a dysfunctional barrier in the middle of a vast fluid, three-dimensional space, which can be bypassed in any direction. To cross the Rubicon is to pass a point of no return. The work aims to mark 2017 as a pivotal moment, a line in the sand and reminder that our world’s oceans and climate are changing and we need to take urgent action before its too late.”
A children’s playground enjoyed by suited businessmen. According to the artist, “A swing, a sea-saw, a play dolphin ride all demonstrate the insouciance and arrogance of the corporate world towards the natural world. The sea-saw references a petroleum extraction pump, a comment on the control of these fossil fuels and their unregulated use. The dolphin ride is indicative of the burden we are placing on marine species and its ultimate collapse if left unchecked.”