Jason deCaires Taylor is not unknown for us – the British underwater photographer, diver, naturalist and artist has already worked on similar projects, his unique concrete artworks can be found at undersea museums in Mexico, the Bahamas and the Antilles. The work on Europe’s first underwater museum in Lanzarote – Canary Islands – has already begun.
Put on your mask and snorkel – underwater museum in Lanzarote
To visit this new contemporary art musuem, you need to put on only your mask and fins!
The sculptures will be submerged at the depths of 12-15 meters (the first pieces are already undersea), accessible for snorkelers, freedivers and divers and will be visible from glass-bottom boats. The Museo Atlantico based on the seafloor of the Las Colorados Bay.
The sculptures are made from special eco- friendly concrete that does not affect the marine ecosystem. The figures will help form part of an artificial reef and act as breeding site for local species.
Lanzarote is going to show with this undersea museum the world one of its most precious secrets – the bottom of our sea – said Pedro San Ginés, the council president. The project will help to become the island more competitive compared to other destinations nearby.
Actual themes – the digital society and refugee crisis
Jason, as a real artist always tries to refer to actual topics with his work – the main themes of the underwater museum in Lanzarote are the digital life and the refugee crisis.
The Rubicon installation consist of 35 sculptures which represent our dependence of our electronic devices and the loneliness in this social world – you may see couple taking selfie, people glued to their smartphones and iPads. The group of these 35 people demonstrates the Instagram-generation – they are walking towards the point of no return.
The other significant creation of the underwater museum in Lanzarote is The Raft of Lampedusa, the modern version of the French Géricault’s painting The Raft of the Medusa from 1818 – a little inflatable boat carries 13 refugees towards the unknown future – it is a reminder of collective responsibility.
Taylor’s model was the 29 years old Abdel Kader as the figurehead of the boat. Abdel made the journey from Laayoune (Western Sahara) to Lanzarote 16 years ago. Adbel was 12 years old when he made the journey . He lost his sister and father at home. With 10 brothers and his mother to support he worked, saved money and found the way to the traffickers – they transported him across the Sahara than they were sailing with a small fishing vessel with other 23 passangers. At the open sea the engine stopped and water began to come into the boat. After 4 days desperate fight against the sea, the passangers were tired, they lost the pails and the vessel was flooded. Abdel even could not swim. Fortunately a fishing boat found them and radioed for rescue. Abdel called his mother from Lanzarote – she did not know that he has left…
The Underwater Botanical Garden project with the statues like the Hybrid Cactus celebrates the island long standing relationship with nature and art.
The underwater art will be different here as in the tropical waters. The colder Atlantic Ocean will not promote the rapid coral growth, so the artist can focus more on the details and stronger dramatic forms. Taylor has created again something impressive – an underwater tourist attraction with important messages. Well done Taylor, can’t wait to visit the underwater museum in Lanzarote!
Photos from underwatersculpture.com