It’s a rare case when a piece of sculpture means as much to the surrounding wildlife as it does to the humans who come to admire it. Such is the situation of Jason de Caires Taylor’s underwater sculpture garden.
Constructed out of concrete and steel, and bolted to the ocean substrate, the works here act as artificial reefs that provide “an ideal habitat for filter feeding organisms.”
Located between two and eight meters underwater, the collection of over 65 sculptures is home to a number of species, including peacock flounder, juvenile striped parrot fish, banded coral shrimp, and fire worms. The sculptures are in clear, shallow waters and can be easily seen by divers, snorkelers, and those in glass-bottomed boats.
Despite the fact that some of the pieces weigh as much as 15 tons, they are not impervious to the powers of the ocean. Taylor’s first work, Grace Reef, was torn to pieces by a hurricane. But such destruction is part of the point of Taylor’s work. As the sculptures interact with their underwater environment in unpredictable ways, the art becomes more interesting and more complex. Eventually they may disappear completely into the expansive blue gallery they inhabit.