I have an interest in outdoor environmental and/or monumental art. For this reason, I was particularly interested in the following short article (written by the artist Jason deCaires Taylor) that appeared in NG (Jan 2012):
Submerged in transparent ocean waters [near Cancun, Mexico], my life-size statues act as tropical reefs. Af first they look like ruins from an ancient civilization. But look closely. They’re based on real people performing contemporary acts, cast from coral-friendly, pH-neutral marine concrete. Why do I create them? To show what a sustainable, symbiotic relationship with nature might look like.
Five years ago in Grenada, West Indies, my training in sculpture, diving, set design, and photography converged. I realized that underwater statues might be an artistic way to help revive one bay’s ecosystem. After the [Mexican]government agreed, the scale and my ambition grew. I’ve since sunk hundreds of works and shot the results.
First I sketch the statue, then research how best to construct, transport, and install it using cranes and a crew. Once it’s finally in place, up to six months later, I get to photograph it–that’s the fun part. . . .
Snorkelers, scuba divers, and tourists in glass-bottom boats all see my work now. I hope they enjoy it but also appreciate where it’s located–at a vital intersection of art, science, and the environment.
For more information on other examples of monumental and outdoor environmental art, search the “monument” category to the right of this blog page.