New ghostly sculptures appear in the waters of the Caribbean Sea
(CNN) — The world’s first underwater sculpture park is now much larger.
It was created by British sculptor and environmentalist Jason de Caires Taylor in 2006 Mulliner Bay Underwater Sculpture Parkin Grenada, is now one of the most popular underwater attractions in the Caribbean country.
The captivating installation has recently been significantly expanded, with 31 sculptures added to the site, which is located in a protected marine area off the island’s west coast.
Among the new additions is the “Coral Carnival”, a series of sculptures inspired by Spacemas, Granada’s very famous Carnival, in which the emblematic mascareros appear as the “Jab-Jab”, a chained figure considered a symbol of freedom for the people. Granada.
Commissioned by the Ministry of Implementation and Tourism of Granada, the project aims to highlight the culture and history of Granada.
“Carnival is obviously a very, very strong part of Grenada’s culture and history, so they wanted to tell that story,” Decaires Taylor told CNN Travel.
“It was interesting to learn about all the different types of mascaristas and the history behind them.”
Each of the sculptures, partly built in the UK, is based on real people, who provided models for the artists.
Most of the new pieces were created by deCaires Taylor, who worked collaboratively with several local artists to ensure they “represent the characters.”
For his part, Granada artist Troy Lewis created four new sculptures, including the Christ of the Deep, a replica of the statue that was presented to the people of Granada in appreciation of the assistance provided to the crew and passengers of the ship “Bianca Sea.” “, which was shipwrecked on the island in 1961.
Made from high-quality stainless steel and pH-neutral marine cement, these sculptures are designed to act as an artificial reef, with holes and shelters to attract marine life such as octopuses and lobsters, creating a fantastic-looking habitat.
According to Dyers Taylor, marine life had already settled into the sculptures days after they were installed.
“The octopus has settled at the base of one of the sculptures, which is a very beautiful thing to see,” he explains, before describing how a family of crabs had also settled at the base of one sculpture, while there was a line in another.
“The interesting thing about these characters is that the silhouettes are very, very strong,” he adds.
“It’s so unique that the silhouettes attract a lot of attention from afar. I’ve never seen that before.”
It is also the first time that Decayers Taylor has introduced color into his underwater sculptures.
“Normally, it’s very grey,” he points out. “This time we used natural pigments to paint the sculptures.
“So I’m very interested in seeing how these organisms change and whether they colonize in any different way. Marine life is very influenced by color.”
The exhibition premiered on land at Grenada’s Prickley Bay Marina for four weeks earlier this year, a first for Decairs Taylor, whose sculptures are typically only exhibited underwater. Among the visitors was Deacon Mitchell, the country’s Prime Minister.
“It’s something I haven’t done in the past, and it wasn’t planned to be fair,” admits Decayers Taylor, explaining that it happened because the publishing company was unavailable for a while.
“But actually, I think it’s a good idea to make it more accessible than before [la exposición] I continue. “I might start to factor it into all future works as a kind of longer public exhibition.”
The underwater sculptures were carefully installed in late October with the help of a crane and some divers.
According to Dykers Taylor, the crane capacity on the island is less than at other destinations he has worked on, so the process of placing the sculptures took longer.
“That day I spent eight hours underwater, which was a record for me,” he recalls.
The Carnival Corral, accessible by boat, has been open to the public since late October.
The new sculptures were installed at depths ranging from three to seven metres, and can be viewed by swimmers and those riding in glass-bottomed boats, provided they have good visibility.
The underwater sculpture park was originally designed as a marine conservation effort to help replenish marine life devastated by Hurricane Ivan in 2004, and as a way to relieve pressure on some of the island’s busiest underwater areas.
“I’ve had the idea of creating something underwater for a while,” says Decairs Taylor. “I thought it would be a very interesting place to do something, and perhaps attract tourists from other places. It would also serve as a platform for marine life.”
“It was one of my favorite projects,” he admits. “In fact, some of the marine life that colonizes these sculptures is some of the best I’ve seen in all the different areas.”
Although Decayers Taylor has founded several underwater exhibitions, such as Gallery Australian Museum of Underwater Art And the Agia Napa Underwater Sculpture Museum in Cyprus, the Mulliner Bay Underwater Sculpture Park remains very special for it.
Promote ocean conservation
“That’s what got me excited in the first place, when I saw how they really colonized the art of nature, replacing what the human hand could do.”
DeCaires Taylor’s projects focus largely on promoting ocean conservation, and he admits he’s been surprised by the changes to the sculptures, especially in recent months.
“This year has been among the hottest ever in Granada, and the sea is really suffering,” he explains.
“So there’s massive bleaching on some of the corals. This is the first time I’ve seen bleaching on the sculptures as well. So, it’s exciting.” [presenciar la colonización]But it’s also sad to see what’s happening.”
He is currently in talks to create a smaller park on Carriacou, Grenada’s sister island, again focusing on these specific issues.
“I’m very concerned about sea level rise, especially in some of these small island nations. That’s why I want to talk about it.
“How sea temperatures are changing, and how fragile some of these places are.”
Although deCaires Taylor is currently working on other projects in the UK, he looks forward to returning to Mulliner Bay to continue watching nature take control of this human creation in the years to come.
“What’s a little different about these pieces is that there’s a lot of heights,” he says. “Horns, feathers, and areas that rise into water columns.”
“I’m really looking forward to coming back in a couple of years. Because I think there will be a lot of filter organisms that feed on sponges and corals that have to attach to them. So that will be good.”