Scuba Diver Australasia - - Lost Worlds - Text & images by Will Tin­dall

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.”

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