Photographs of world wonder in Istanbul
ISTANBULPhotos of underwater sculptures, featured on National Geographic magazine’s list of the world’s top 25 wonders, will be displayed in Istanbul, at its Military Museum.
The photos, taken by Jason De Caires, the founder of the world’s first Underwater Sculpture Museum, will be presented as part of the 17th European Ready Mixed Concrete Organization to be held in Istanbul on June 4 and 5.
A fully qualified diving instructor and underwater naturalist, Taylor grew up in Europe and Asia, where he spent much of his early childhood exploring the coral reefs of Malaysia. With over 20 years diving experience under his belt, he is also an award-winning underwater photographer, famous for his dramatic images, which capture the metamorphosing effects of the ocean on his evolving sculptures.
In 2006, Taylor created the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Situated off the west coast of Grenada in the West Indies, it is now listed as one of the top 25 wonders of the world by National Geographic and was instrumental in the creation of a national marine protected area by the local government.
Following that, in 2009, he co-founded the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA), a monumental museum with a collection of over 500 of his sculptural works, submerged off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, and described by Forbes as one of the world’s most unique travel destinations.
Taylor’s pioneering public art projects are examples of successful marine conservation and works of art that seek to encourage environmental awareness, instigate social change and lead us to appreciate the breathtaking natural beauty of the underwater world.
Synthesis of art and science
According to his website, Taylor’s sculptures, considered a synthesis of art and science, are made with carefully researched environmentally-friendly materials which actively promote coral growth, with inert pH neutral properties designed to last hundreds of years. Working with marine biologists, he employs the latest research in creating habitat spaces designed to encourage specific forms of marine life.
By situating his sculptures in clear, shallow, barren areas, Taylor not only replicates the conditions necessary to stimulate coral growth but ensures divers, snorkelers and those aboard glass bottom boats the opportunity to view his work.
Underwater, everything is magnified by 25 percent. Light refracts, colors are changed and, as the only light source comes from the surface, kaleidoscopic effects are produced, governed by currents and turbulence.
“Taking art off the white walls of a gallery offers the viewer a sense of discovery and participation,” says Taylor about his underwater works.
Over the past few decades, the world’s seas have lost over 40 percent of their natural coral reefs. Scientists predict a permanent demise of 80 percent by 2050. Taylor’s art is an example of generative human intervention in the ecosystem, showing what can be accomplished by individual imagination and collective effort.
The exhibition at Istanbul’s Military Museum will display 18 photos of Taylor’s underwater sculptures.