Underwater Sculptures: An Interview with Jason deCaires Taylor

Underwater Sculptures: An Interview with Jason deCaires Taylor

 

Words by Joana Sequeira
An Article published in The Earth Issue 002: IMPACT

Jason deCaires Taylor’s sculptures are artificial reefs, formed from carefully manufactured sculptures installed at various locations around the world. Each sculpture is creating using non-toxic, pH neutral marine grade cement, free from harmful pollutants, becoming an integral part of the local ecosystem.
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Amidst the chaos and decay of the plastic age, the filth, the waste and the lack of deliberation on ways to save our planet from complete devastation, another thing we could lose right now is: hope. Artists such as Jason deCaires Taylor convey to us that feeling, that if we act now, if we show reasonable measures to help saving what is left, to prevent our ecosystems from being depleted, to not over-exhaust our resources by keeping in mind our future generations, then, there is hope we can count on. Yet we cannot simply rely on our optimistic exchange of the word hope. The key, as deCaires Taylor shows, is to take action.
Acting locally, thinking globally.


Land Art is a movement that emerged at the of the 60's, where artwork where built from and into the natural landscape without concern for any environmental impact of any recognition of responsibility towards nature.

Only later on, art began to constitute as a form of activism. Greenpeace's anti-whaling campaigns, for instance, could be seen as the crucial changing point in which we see this shift of paradigm. But it was only at the beginnong of this millennium that we've started to notice that our environment is changing rapidly. Luckily, we can rely on some artists expertise, such as deCaires Taylor, who - for the lack of voices calling to the awareness of protecting the environment - rejects the elitist trend in the art world, where the aesthetically appealing is the ultimate trend, commenting on contemporary art as follows:

''Because it is such a vital thing to our existence, our oceans and reefs are getting severely damaged, and this is all happening in a short space of time - just in my lifetime. When I was younger, I was lucky enough to explore pristine reef habitats, and 20 years later those same habitats no longer exist. The impact on the trajectory of evolution is so profound. And having been a diver for a very long time, I have been fortunate to visit a lot of places around the world, however people keep telling me the same story, ''you should have seen this place a long time ago, it was beautiful...'' it sort of got impossible for me in this day and age to do any other type of work, it would just seem very trivial and pointless.''

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DeCaires Taylor's giant cement sculptures, which are sunken into the ocean in areas with barren seedbends, now provide a new home for the underwater world. The final pieces are sculpted by him and crafted by the ocean. Art of this nature, other than being thought provoking, is also beneficial on many levels.

 
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