World-renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has just installed his latestwork off Indonesia’s Gili Meno, a little island with a permanent population of just 500 people, lapped by warm, crystal clear waters famed for their turtle population.
For more than a decade the British-born artist has created hauntingly beautiful sculptures in waters from the Caribbean to the Canary Islands and the River Thames. His latest work, entitled Nest, is formed of 48 life-size human figures set in shallow water a short swim from a soon-to-be-completed sustainable resort.
Nest features a ring of human figures, each sculpted from pH-neutral, environmental-grade concrete and based on the casts of real people. The material provides a natural home for corals, and could eventually form a thriving reef that will evolve as life takes hold.
Jason deCaires Taylor explains, “First and foremost, Nest is an environmental space. The figures are arranged in a circular formation as an echo of the circle of life, and they will soon teem with life. Soft corals and sponges should flourish quickly paving the way for delicate hard corals and a fully established reef.
“But Nest is also a bridge between the human and marine worlds. It’s accessible to anyone and is just a short swim from a beach open to all. I hope people will visit it both as a piece of art and as an entrance point to the underwater world.
“40 percent of the world’s coral reefs have been lost over the past few decades and scientists predict many more are now at risk.We hope Nest will remind visitors of the many treasures of the underwater world and how fragile they are.”