- Issue: Summer 2019
Since the mid-2000s, Jason deCaires Taylor has been combining his talents as a sculptor, scuba diver, and photographer to create underwater art. His striking installations—made from ecologically safe concrete and designed to attract marine life—have become artificial reefs, creating new homes for communities of corals, sponges, and fish. For some of the coastal communities near the installations, the artificial reefs have also generated tourism opportunities that can alleviate tourism-driven pressure on natural reefs. DeCaires Taylor says the human figures in his work highlight the damage our species has caused to ocean life through climate change, overfishing, and other harmful activities. But they also reflect harmony with nature, he says, as they begin to be transformed by the oceans:
"We are natural beings ourselves, and we tend to forget that. We can coexist with nature. We're all part of the same system."
Top left: Hybrids, Lanzarote, Spain, 2017. Top right: Anthropocene, Cancun, Mexico, 2012. Bottom left: Crossing the Rubicon, Lanzarote, Spain, 2017. Bottom right: Inheritance, Punta Nizuc, Mexico, 2011.