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UNDERWATER WONDERLANDS

Beneath the surface of the ocean are living wonderlands - unparalleled cement sculpture parks that poignantly redefine what it means to make art and conserve the environment.

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Jason de Caires Taylor is a man apart. Creator of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, and then several others after that, his extraordinary contribution to our cultural landscape has shifted paradigms of thought around what it is to make permanent public art, as well as the ways in which environmental conservation can be conceived and conducted. His various sculpture parks have been included in the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic and Forbes magazine has lauded them as a unique travel destinations. The BBC, CNN, USA Today, the Guardian, Vogue, New Scientist and the Discovery Channel have all covered these extraordinary projects.

Piano Bahamas

Trained as a sculptor at the London Institute of Arts, but also a qualified diving instructor (he grew up around the ocean and spent much of his childhood exploring the coral reefs of Malaysia) Taylor participates in the ultimate act of artistic collaboration by allowing the living ocean to complete his sculptures. His contribution is merely the starting point of a conversation with the sea – the sculpted forms of people grow and mutate as they are incorporated into living coral reefs. A process made all the more poignant, ironic and relevant by the fact that coral reefs the world over are suffering irreparable damage due to the activities of people.

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Taylor’s first underwater sculpture park was founded in 2006 off the coast of the West Indies. This permanent installation was key to the local government subsequently establishing a National Marine Protected Area. In 2009 he submerged 500 of his sculptural works off the coast of Mexico. In 2014, the Bahamas saw him ‘erect” a 5m high edifice, otherwise known as the world’s largest underwater sculpture. Currently, he is working on a new underwater museum that will be located off the Canary Islands.

Evolution Mexico

Besides these noteworthy accomplishments, this internationally acclaimed sculptor is also an underwater photographer who carefully and beautifully documents the unfolding process of marine life inhabiting his works. Taylor’s photographs can be viewed on his website: http://www.underwatersculpture.com.

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