NASSAU, Bahamas — English artist Jason deCaires Taylor has graced the underwater world with yet another work of art, with the unveiling of the Atlas sculpture in the Bahamas as his most recent in a series of underwater pieces.
The 18-foot-tall sculpture can be found in the Sir Nicholas Nuttall Coral Reef Sculpture Garden in New Providence, Nassau, at a depth of 5 meters.
The project was organized by the Bahamas Reef Environment Education Foundation (BREEF) to redirect tourist and local attraction away from natural reefs. Diving expeditions to natural reefs has been regarded as ‘environmentally-damaging tourism’ as the reefs continue to be damaged by warming waters, overfishing, invasive species, pollution, and other factors.[tw-tabs tab1=”Quick fact” ][tw-tab]The Andros Barrier Reef in The Bahamas is the third-longest in the world, after barrier reefs in Australia and Belize [/tw-tab] [/tw-tabs][tw-divider][/tw-divider]
Executive Director of BREEF, Casuarina McKinney-Lambert, said “the Coral Reef Sculpture Garden is the perfect fusion of art, education and marine conservation located in the world’s most beautiful waters. By installing the eco-friendly artwork, beach-goers and snorkelers can now be redirected from natural reefs which will allow time for regeneration.”
Forty percent of the world’s natural coral reefs have been lost over the past few decades and scientists predict that by 2050, eighty percent of the reefs will be irreversibly damaged. Jason deCaires Taylor’s underwater pieces contribute to coral reef regeneration by directing marine tourism toward his sculptures and away from natural reefs, providing the natural reefs with the ability to recover.
Taylor has previously installed The Musician, another underwater piece, off the coast of the Musha Cay private island in the Bahamas.
Taylor developed the world’s first underwater sculpture park with four pieces in Molinere Bay in Grenada, and has since established underwater pieces in the United Kingdom, Greece, and his largest, in Mexico.