Sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has deployed the largest single underwater sculpture ‘Ocean Atlas’ in Nassua, Bahamas. It is a young, local Bahamian girl holding up the ceiling of the ocean.
“During low tide, the waterwill reflect a mirror image of the sculpture on the underside of the sea’s surface,” writes MyModern Met.
Constructed using sustainable pH neutral materials, the work is meant to be an artificial reef for marine life. The sculpture draws tourists away from overstressed natural reefs. As the artist states, “With our oceans and coral reefs currently facing collapse from numerous threats including; overfishing, habitat loss, ocean acidification, global warming and water pollution the piece symbolizes the burden we are currently asking future generations to carry and the collective responsibility we have to prevent its collapse.”
Speaking previously about the place of his art in saving coral reefs, Jason deCaires Taylor informs us:
Coral reefs attract an array of marine life (such as colourful fish, turtles, sea urchins, sponges, and sharks) and also provide enclosed spaces for sea creatures to breed or take refuge.
Only about 10 – 15% of the sea bed has a solid enough substratum to allow reefs to form naturally. In order to increase the number of reefs in these areas artificial reefs have recently been created from materials that are durable, secure and environmentally sensitive. These reefs appear to have been successful in that they have attracted coral growth which, in turn, can support an entire marine ecosystem.
One of the greatest benefits of artificial reefs is that they have lifted the pressure off natural reefs which, over the past few decades, have been over-fished and over-visited.