Friday, October 1, 2010

Sculpture and Jason deCaires Taylor

Of his bones are coral made: Those pearls that were his eyes; Nothing of him that doth fade, But doth suffer a sea-change. Into something rich and strange." ... from Shakespear's the Tempest

I just received new photos of Jason deCaires Taylor's environmental sculpture. After 3 years under the sea in Grenadian waters he latest growth of sponges, tunicates, hydroids, soft and hard corals has been beyond all expectations.
all photos Jason deCaires Taylor

Initially, I had strong reservations about the work. Not his wanting to combine sculpture and environmental work, but the aesthetic of seeing figurative concrete sculptures underwater. 
I couldn't get the image of drowned bodies out of my mind. 
Context is everything.

But now that all the sculptures have suffered their sea changes, becoming mermen and mermaids and living reefs they are beautiful, strange and living instead of dead images. I guess " I've grown accustomed to her face...."

To see more of Jason deCaires Taylor's work click Here.


Deb said...

Thinking about the previous post, I imagine myself growing older each year,
finally looking at the 'same' young lovers as an old woman. This illusion
of eternity fits my pre-conceptions of sculpture.
Put the human form into an environment that fosters change, and you're messin'
with my comfy box!

Patrick Gracewood said...

Deb, That's really beautiful, and it's not just the comfy box. Since when has growing old been comfy? The passing of time and inevitable loss is the basis for a lot of brilliant work.

For me Jason deCaires' work is best as a conceptual work. He has a good gimmick. It has a noble cause-creating new environments.
It has a good cash basis- a tourist draw snorkeling and scuba diving and all the supporting businesses.

But the sculptures themselves are relatively crude concrete life castings (a la George Segal) that only "come to life"as the literal base for life forms that quickly obliterate the human forms.

The figures will always be drowned mariners or enchanted sea creatures.
Buried treasures?

Deb said...

This could a be lucrative business. The potential for commissions is unlimited. How many mothers-in-law and ex-spouses can he fit down there?

Theresa Cheek said...

Well, I have been in a 'barnacle kind of mind" this week, so I really reacted to this! I am working with some sketches involving barnacle incrusted shells and stuff...nice images for me to reference! ;)

Susan Roux said...

I never heard of underwater sculptures. Its very fascinating. So people go scuba diving to see these creations? Do fish come and inhabit them too? Its cool to imagine such an underwater creation.