Artist Jason deCaires Taylor is known for sculpting beautiful pieces of art and then lowering them into the ocean–all in the hopes that his creations will eventually serve as homes for marine life, helping to conserve precious coral reefs in the process.
Now, Taylor is working on a series of “suburban-styled houses” that will likely serve as literal homes for marine life, according to recently posted photos on his Facebook page.
Taylor began his life as an environmental artist in Grenada in 2006. There, he sank 65 sculptures, and $50,000 of his savings, into Moilinere Bay to draw attention to the plight of the world’s reefs. The work did draw attention and led to the development of his large underwater museum, the Museo Subacuatico de Arte, a federally financed project in Cancun, Mexico, that is ongoing. So far, 500 sculptures have been commissioned but thousands are planned.
Taylor hopes that his artificial reefs help raise environmental awareness as well as physically draw divers away from natural reefs as they flock to check out his sculptures.
Some point out that it’s the total influx of tourists, not just divers, that are harming reefs. And underwater museums draw tourists. However, Taylor contends that net impact of his art helps to save reefs.
“Foremost, it’s an opportunity to view this other world,” Taylor told The New York Times. “We are surrounded by water, but people have no understanding what their planet is. It helps see ourselves as part of the world.”
Taylor crafts his figures with a special marine-safe cement that has near neutral pH. Its harmlessness is evident in the number and variety of ocean life that take up residence in and on the pieces–and this is by design. The sculptures are meant to change over time with their environment, a process he chronicled in the recent collection Silent Evolution.
Below, you can check out more of Taylor’s work–without getting your feet wet.
Photo and video via Jason deCaires Taylor and protected by copyright.