Museo Atlantico in Lanzarote: Biosphere, Art and Nature

J.M. Towers

A grand underwater sculpture park

Jason De Caires Taylor described by Foreign Policy magazine as the “Jacques Cousteau of the art world”—is a world-renowned sculptor who creates underwater installations using figurative sculptures.Born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother, Taylor grew up in southeast England and graduated from the London Institute of Arts in 1998. He obtained an honorary BA in sculpture, later becoming a diving instructor and underwater naturalist. With over 20 years of diving experience, the artist has also won prestigious awards in underwater photography.

Museo Atlantico

In 2006, he founded the world’s first submarine sculpture park on the west coast of Granada, West Indies, one of the 25 Wonders of the World, according to National Geographic.

Later, in 2009, he created MUSA (Underwater Museum), a monumental collection of over 500 sculptures submerged off the coast of Cancun, Mexico, described by Forbes as one of the unique tourist destinations in the world.

During the summer of 2014, Taylor created ‘Ocean Atlas‘ in the waters of the Bahamas, the largest submerged sculpture in the world: it is 5 meters high (15 feet) and weighs more than 60 tons.

Museo Atlantico

Currently, de Caires is immersed in an underwater sculpture project of high magnitude on the Canary island of Lanzarote in Spain, a natural paradise where he has lived and worked for several years.

This new artistic challenge is dubbed Lanzarote Atlantic Museum. Since early 2014, Jason de Caires has been working on the ground, but it was not until the end of January 2016 that he proceeded to submerge the first 60 of the 300 sculptures that will complete the project.

The first visitors started coming in March this year during a preview, but we will have to wait until January 2017 for the official opening, which will include all the sculptures, already submerged.

With the Atlantic Museum, conceived as a place for the preservation and conservation of the marine environment as an integral part of our human values, de Caires sends a clear message in all his work: the defense and preservation of the oceans.

Museo Atlantico

This museum project will also create an extensive artificial reef formed by a series of sculptural installations made of neutral pH concrete which, over time, will help increase marine biomass and facilitate the reproduction of the island`s marine species.

The Atlantic Museum will consist of a series of sculptures located in different settings. Some of the pieces are particularly noteworthy for their strength and charisma, including Rubicon, a grouping of 35 human figures oriented in the same direction whose models have been inhabitants of the island, as well as Raft of Lampedusa, a very dramatic set of sculptures that shows a group of illegal migrants in a boat, displaying their extreme desperation to reach Europe from Africa.

This museum aims to promote the cultural, natural and artistic attractions of Lanzarote, a beautiful island, declared a Biosphere Reserve by UNESCO.  ■

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