Week 9: Someone whose material blows your mind

Jason deCaires Taylor

When thinking of a material that really surprises me I was hoping to find something from the artists list that do soft/skin sculpture, especially since I need to come up with ideas for my upcoming project. However, I found most of the materials those specific artists use to be quite normal, which is why I am so amazed with what they were able to create. I was looking for a material that wouldn’t naturally come to mind and was out of the box and I think I found it, living coral.

Jason deCaires Taylor is an English sculptor that specializes in underwater sculptures which over time develop into artificial coral reefs. I am fascinated by this concept for several reasons. I love the idea that a piece of art can change and become something different, more beautiful and more alive over time. I love that the sculptures must be seen underwater, so just getting to the sites would be an incredible interactive experience. I love that the sculptures can become the habitat and home for living things. It is a very intriguing concept.


The material choice is obviously deliberate to create the goal of having a piece that will organically change over time. Some materials used are: cement, sand, micro silica, fiber glass, ceramic tiles, and live coral. “The texture, chemical composition and design actively encourage the settlement of embryonic corals. Areas of shelter and void space provide a habitat for creatures to breed and take refuge.” http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/underwater-alien-sculptures

Another thing I love about the sculptures of this artist is that the story behind them are thought provoking and tie in with the nature surrounding them while still connecting it back to human beings. A great example of this is his sculpture of a lone naked woman in a sad posture clutching herself named “No Turning Back”. “The sadness portrayed in the piece references the recent statistics reporting how Caribbean reefs have seen losses of up to 80%.” http://www.mymodernmet.com/profiles/blogs/jason-decaires-taylor-underwater-sculptures

“I have a whole team of underwater helpers that come along and do all the finishing for me. The coral applies the paint. The fish supply the atmosphere. The water provides the mood.” – Jason deCaires Taylor 2010









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