Museo Atlantico by Jason Taylor

Jason Taylor’s works are successful examples of marine conservation. The artist places sculptures on the seabed with the aim that they become coral reefs. Moreover, his work seeks to encourage environmental awareness and instigate social change by highlighting global sensitive and controversial issues.

“The first set of sculptures has been installed in Museo Atlantico — the first underwater contemporary art museum in Europe and the Atlantic Ocean. 14 meters beneath the clear blue waters off the coast of Lanzarote, artist Jason deCaires Taylor has fixed a series of sculptural installations to the ocean floor. Alongside a collection of figurative works that depict poignant global matters, the underwater gallery also comprises a sunken botanical garden, which responds to the region’s long standing relationship with art and nature. Beginning on February 25, 2016, the museum will be open to snorkelers and divers.”

museo atlantico

“Spanning the seabed, the main installation features an assembly of 35 figures walking towards a gate — a point of no return, or a portal to another world. A second installation titled ‘The raft of Lampedusa’ depicts a haunting representation of the ongoing humanitarian crisis, with a boat of figures desperately waiting for treatment and aid. Taylor references French painter Théodore Géricault’s work, ‘The raft of the medusa’, drawing parallels between the abandonment suffered by sailors in his shipwreck scene and the current refugee crisis. ‘The work is not intended as a tribute or memorial to the many lives lost, but as a stark reminder of the collective responsibility of our now global community,’ the artist says.”

museo atlantico

“Additionally, the project is designed on a conservational level to create a large scale artificial reef for local fish species, increase marine biomass, and raise awareness to current threats facing the world’s oceans.”

Taylor’s art is like no other, a paradox of creation, constructed to be assimilated by the ocean and transformed from inert objects into living breathing coral reefs, portraying human intervention as both positive and life-encouraging. His pioneering public art projects are not only examples of successful marine conservation, but works of art that seek to encourage environmental awareness, instigate social change and lead us to appreciate the breathtaking natural beauty of the underwater world.

museo atlantico

In the words of the artist: “Only about 10 – 15% of the sea bed has a solid enough substratum to allow reefs to form naturally. In order to increase the number of reefs in these areas artificial reefs have recently been created from materials that are durable, secure and environmentally sensitive. These reefs appear to have been successful in that they have attracted coral growth which, in turn, can support an entire marine ecosystem.”

museo atlantico

museo atlantico

museo atlantico

museo atlantico

museo atlantico

museo atlantico

 

Evolution of Taylor’s sculptures over time:

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(via designboom)