Lifetimes Achievement Award & Ommiewood Hall of Fame
Jason De Caires Taylor
Transformational Artist and Earth Activist
Jason deCaires Taylor MRSS, born in 1974 to an English father and a Guyanese mother, is a sculptor, environmentalist, and professional underwater photographer. He graduated from the London Institute of Arts in 1998 with a BA Honours in Sculpture. Taylor became the first of a new generation of artists to shift the concepts of the Land art movement into the realm of the marine environment.
His permanent site-specific sculptural works are predominately exhibited in submerged and tidal marine environments, exploring modern themes of conservation and environmental activism.
Over the past 16 years, Taylor has been one of the first to consider the underwater realm as a public art space and is best known for his numerous large-scale underwater “Museums” and “Sculpture Parks”. Taylor gained international recognition in 2006 with the creation of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, situated off the west coast of Grenada in the West Indies. Moilinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park is now listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. The park was instrumental in the government declaring the site a National Marine Protected Area.
Taylor has gone on to produce over 1,100 public terrestrial and underwater sculptures worldwide, which are visited by thousands of visitors each week.
Environment, Art, and Activism
In this current heightened climate of global environmental awareness, a new form of art that maintains aesthetics (in a traditional sense) but is also conceptually-based, aims to raise awareness of the broad health of the environment or highlight specific concerns. Building on the foundations laid out by the Land Artists, a new generation of artists has emerged that place environmentalism at the forefront of their practice, each with unique concerns and ways of addressing these concerns to draw the attention of the viewer. The art of Jason deCaires Taylor is situated within this emerging environmental paradigm of art, taking the viewer to the depths of the ocean.
For sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor, the ocean is more than a muse, it is an exhibition space and a museum. Taylor creates sculptures of human forms and mundane life on land and sinks them to the bottom of the ocean, where they are subsumed by the sea, transforming inert stone into vibrant habitats for corals, crustaceans and other creatures. The result: enigmatic, disturbing and colorful comments on our transitory existence, on the sacredness of the ocean and its impressive power of regeneration.
The Underwater Museum:
The Submerged Sculptures
of Jason deCaires Taylor