Imagine gliding through blue waters filled with exotic fish and a rainbow of colorful sea life. As you swim through a meadow of seagrass, you discover an angelic statue amid a display of vibrant coral. But wait—this statue appears to be alive! And technically it is, thanks to an innovative artist who is dedicated to encouraging the life you see before you.

Since 2007, Jason DeCaires Taylor has been creating sculptures and dropping them in the ocean. But this hasn’t been without some careful planning! The results of his work bring us to an underwater museum, teeming with life; where art, nature, and science are wrapped up in one beautiful package. 

So, take a deep breath and jump in—we’re going on an underwater excursion like no other! 

Image: fish next to submerged statue

Gardener, Mexico // Living underwater sculpture by Jason DeCaires Taylor
Courtesy of Jason DeCaires Taylor

Bringing Humanity to the Ocean

Our planet’s oceans make up an estimated 50-80% of all life on earth, 1 yet we know so little about them!

Jason DeCaires Taylor, the thought leader/artist we are highlighting today, suggests that maybe we forget to acknowledge Earth’s gorgeous bodies of water because they do not have a face. 

Think about that for a minute. The same goes for trees and our blue skies; with no face, there are no eyes to express the struggles they are experiencing—it’s easy to overlook. Looking out across the horizon of the ocean, there are no words to explain the distress happening down below and no hands to gesture toward what they need from us to survive.

But, Jason thought, what if he could give it a face?

Living underwater sculpture by Jason DeCaires Taylor

 

Jason has been creating breathtaking sculptures of humans and animals with the intent of letting nature finish his masterpieces—literally connecting us to the world below since 2007.

We wrote about Jason’s work back in 2016, and to really appreciate today’s piece, make sure you watch the awesome video by The Creators Project to learn how he got started!

Afterward, come back here to see what’s happened in the years since. 

10 minutes

Underwater Wonder Combining Sculpture & Conservation

What happens when we create art that interacts with its environment? What happens when art and conservation combine? Jason deCaires Taylor's underwater sculptures inspire wonder!

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Welcome back!

Now that you know a little about Jason’s work, we can dive deeper into the amazing accomplishments that have happened as a result of these gorgeous sculptures. 

Jason has been an advocate for coral reef conservation from the very beginning, and every step of the process is strategically planned for the most impactful outcome. His work is not only aimed to protect coral reefs but to empower other artists and communities to do the same. From the materials used to the subject matter, the location, and of course the sculptures themselves, each detail is carefully executed to encourage life.

He really describes their process and impact best, so without further ado, I’d like to introduce you to his delightful TED Talk!

 

Via: TED  2

Isn’t TED great? You can watch more thought leaders take the TED stage by clicking here

Want to see more of Jason’s work? Check out his website, follow him on Twitter or view the jaw-dropping underwater images on his Instagram profile!

Image: Underwater sculpture, side profile, with urchins living on it.

Living underwater sculpture by Jason DeCaires Taylor

As someone who enjoys planning, I found the waves of forethought and preparation involved in these installations to be beyond impressive. There is something to be said about being thorough and thoughtful in each project you take on. Some truly magical ideas can come to life with proper care and planning!

What would happen if we incorporated some of this forward-thinking into our own lives?

Maybe when we’re planning our next meal we can put a bit of extra thought into where the ingredients come from. Or the next time you jet away on vacation, perhaps visit a special place that benefits the people and the environment surrounding it. There are thousands of tiny ways we can help the faceless beauties of our world if we only think ahead a bit!

We can use whatever skills we have to make a difference.

We all have unique talents to share—it’s part of what makes us so magically human! Here are a few more great examples of people who are using their talents to breathe strength into causes close to their hearts.

11 minutes

Trolls We Can All Come to Love!

What if we slowed our impulse to create new "stuff", and instead, focused on using what we already have in excess? Take trash for example. Is there endless potential in the things we are discarding? Here's is someone who is pointing to possibility in a wondrous way!

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8 minutes

The Restaurant that Brought Love to Phoenix

If you're looking for proof that love can bring about real change, you need look no further than 16th street in Phoenix, Arizona! This is one story that will help you see the hidden potential in your own life.

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6 minutes

Your Spare Hair Could Clean the Ocean!

Did you know you are growing a way to combat oil spills? Every day, hairdressers are throwing out pounds of hair that can be used to help clean up the environment! Clean Wave is putting that hair to good use, keeping the oceans safe and protecting wildlife.

Read More

Just like Jason has done with his underwater inceptions, when we empower each other to recognize the important things that are lying just beneath the surface, we spark not only wonder but infinite possibility!

Living underwater sculpture by Jason DeCaires Taylor// Instagram

Keep dreaming and notice the beauty around you!

~Renee

Explore more work in conservation!

See what others are doing to have a positive impact on the planet by clicking the button below!

Conservation on EWC! 

Notes:

  1. MarineBio. “Did You Know…? Marine Life / Ocean Facts… ~ MarineBio Conservation Society.” Marinebio.Org, 2019, marinebio.org/creatures/facts/
  2. DeCaires Taylor, Jason. “An Underwater Art Museum, Teeming with Life.” Ted.Com, TED Talks, 2014, www.ted.com/talks/jason_decaires_taylor_an_underwater_art_museum_teeming_with_life#t-107945. Accessed 14 Jan. 2020.

Renee Laroche-Rheaume

Outreach Coordinator

Renee is a graduate of FIDM, and has held jobs in several industries such as apparel manufacturing, retail, professional office work, and even hospitality! Her creative outlook, wide variety of experiences, and desire to notice the beauty around us make her a great addition to the EWC team!