British artist Jason DeCaires Taylor chose Lanzarote to install an underwater museum. The first of its kind in the Atlantic Ocean.
DeCaires already worked on a similar project in Cancun (Mexico) in 2009. More than 500 sculptures became an artificial reef known as the MUSA museum (Museo Subacuático de Arte).
The first sculptures of the Atlantic Underwater Museum were installed between Lanzarote’s famous Papagayo beach and Las Coloradas castle last February.
Atlantic Underwater Museum: Act 1
300 underwater sculptures will be settled before the Atlantic Underwater Museum is fully installed at the beginning of 2017. Visitors are already able to watch the museum’s art work either from a boat with a clear glass bottom, snorkelling or diving.
The art pieces were transported by boat. And installed underwater so subaquatic life can start to take over the artist’s work. They’re eco-friendly. Designed with materials that help create artificial reefs.
Jason DeCaires Taylor used Lanzarote residents as models. They are represented on everyday life postures. Some are talking on the phone. Others are taking selfies. A cactus took over this one.
As a matter of fact, Lanzarote is keeping alive Cesar Manrique‘s heritage. The local artist shaped this island with art, respecting the gifts of nature. He always stood against the ones ignoring environmental matters to make more money.
Like him, Jason DeCaires Taylor is strongly opinionated about the capitalist system and the lack of nature preservation. Should I say: the destruction of what’s more valuable to humanity. Let’s call things by their real name.
DeCaires is working alongside with marine biologists. He chooses eco-friendly materials to encourage marine life to shape his artwork. But that’s not it. He carefully chooses where to place them. Away from strong currents and tidal patterns so living organisms can settle there for a long time.
The artist also contributes to attracting tourists towards artificial reefs. Letting natural reefs recover from the damages they’re suffering. That’s very ingenious.
However, DeCaires is pretty pessimistic on the future of oceanic ecosystems. He says the following generation will be witnessing the death of marine life… Ouch.
A recent study is stating that oceans will have more plastic than fish by 2050. This is not looking too good. I’m starting to think he might be right.
Could it be? Then why are we still overfishing? Why do we still allow bottom trawling fishing if we know it destroys fragile ecosystems?
And most of all, why are we still given plastic bags everywhere including Lanzarote? I mean. This is an island. Where are they supposed to end up?
Back to our brushes. Both artists are part of the eco-art movement. Manrique was defending his island. DeCaires is defending aquatic life. But not only.
He found a way to get us to step aside from our frenetic lives. Take time to have a look at ourselves. Together with seeing what we usually don’t want to watch. Like The Raft of Lampedusa… A reminder of what’s happening right off our costs.
This project is much more than an innovative new attraction to offer the islands’ visitors.
That’s what I like about it.
The underwater museum is meant to get us thinking
The artist wants us to stop running for a minute to take a little perspective on how humanity is dealing with the challenges we’re facing.
While underwater, you’re like in a bubble. Only able to share your impressions with your friends once the journey is over. Until then, nature’s impressive show is focusing all your attention.
It’s very smart to take visitors to that kind of environment. The artist’s message gets to be heard much more clearly. Don’t you think?
What can I say? Respect. Jason DeCaires’ work is smart, innovative and sustainable. Really inspiring.
In fact, I can’t wait to get underwater to watch nature’s artwork.
What about you? Is it the kind of museum you would like to visit ?