The Underwater Sculpture Gallery

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Vicissitudes, depth: 4.5 m.

The Underwater Sculpture Gallery in Grenada, West Indies is a project started in May 2006 by sculptor Jason Taylor, with the support of the Grenadian Ministry of Tourism and Culture. This is a unique artistic enterprise, celebrating Caribbean culture and highlighting environmental processes, such as coral reef re-generation.

An underwater gallery creates a whole new perspective on the world. Submerged objects are affected by different conditions both physical and emotional. Objects appear 25% larger and closer, colours are changed as light is absorbed differently by the water. The surface of the sea creates an ever-changing kaleidoscope of light, whilst its turbidity acts as a filter. The aquatic medium affords the viewer a multitude of angles and perspectives and thus transforms the traditional role of passive observer into an active process of discovery and engagement.

The ocean provides a setting imbued with mystery. Observers are invited to appreciate the works of art whilst questioning their circumstances and history. The viewer is immediately committed and involved to the environment and becomes part of the work itself. The sculptures will be an ever changing exhibition as nature colonizes the surface and the sea and tidal movement shapes the texture.

The uniqueness of the setting challenges traditional views of ourselves and our environment, transcending the boundaries separating land and water, and decompartmentalising social preconceptions. The constant flux of the marine environment on the sculptures mirrors the vicissitudes of our own lives.

Via Arthur.

Lucky Grenadians, the closest we get is Anthony Gormley‘s Another Place, a series of his usual figure sculptures on Crosby beach, Merseyside.

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Previously on { feuilleton }
Dead monuments

10 thoughts on “The Underwater Sculpture Gallery”

  1. Saw this the other day on BoingBoing.
    It is really an amazing project.
    I wonder how it will evolve with time, microorganism fixing on the scuptures and attracting fish (some are already showing a good crop of algae but the pictures are strangely devoid of animal life).

    A good reason to go diving in the area but I just hope they won’t get damage by too many tourists …

  2. I imagine these are fairly robust where tourists are concerned. It’s one gallery that won’t be plagued by crowds anyway.

  3. There’s an underwater sculpture in Italy, too, it was on Francesco’s Italy.

    I think we have the Gormley sculptures and the Grenadians have this because their waters are clearer and warmer…

    Anyway, I like underwater sculpture, it’s kind of surreal.

  4. I saw this work of art flicking through a trashy magazine it stopped me dead in my tracks. I think its simply wonderful.

  5. I couldn’t find where it says if he actually sculpts underwater or if he makes the sculptures above water and then transports and submerges them. Any ideas? Either way, it’s quite a magnificent achievement.

  6. Hi Gail. The circle of figures are life-size concrete casts made of a group of girls and boys. I’m fairly sure these would have been made on land then placed underwater once the concrete was set.

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