A sculptor by profession, Jason deCaires Taylor is known for his innovative underwater art installations. Most of his creations boast of uniquely contemporary designs, while at the same time being incredibly eco-friendly. Constructed using sustainable pH-neutral substances, these underwater sculptures in turn facilitate the proliferation of coral reefs. This time around, the UK-based artist has crafted a colossal cement statue, called Ocean Atlas.
Installed recently in the waters of the west coastline of New Providence in Bahamas, the effigy is shaped in the figure of a Bahamian girl, carrying the entire ocean on her tiny shoulders. The sculpture actually emulates the posture in which Atlas, the primordial Greek mythical Titan, bore the weight of the celestial bodies. Weighing more than 60 tons, the 18-feet statue is likely the world’s largest underwater sculpture.
The sculpture is modeled after a local student, going by the name of Camilla. It is designed such that during low tide, the image of the girl gets reflected onto the underside of the sea surface, thereby creating a kind of optical illusion for the divers. Crafted using sustainable, environment-friendly raw materials, Ocean Atlas acts as an artificial reef for the various aquatic life forms to inhabit.
A pole carrying solar light and flag is attached to the sculpture, in order to aid marine navigation. The giant art piece is part of an ongoing attempt by B.R.E.E.F( i.e. Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation) to construct an eco-friendly underwater garden, in memory of its founder, Sir Nicholas Nuttall. The project also includes works by local sculptors Willicey Tynes and Andret John. Talking about his creation, Taylor said:
It was [created] using 3D scans and a layered mold…Once the individual sections were made, a series of interlocking keys ensured the pieces located themselves underwater. The challenge was to get each piece to not weigh more than 12 tons…The aim was to show the vital role the local community and especially the younger generation have in conserving the islands’ natural resources.
To know more about Jason deCaires Taylor and his underwater sculptures, check his official website.