I have been a fan of Jason deCaires Taylor for years, and he has become one of my favourite artists.
Ever since I saw the photos from his first underwater sculpture park, off the coast of Grenada in the West Indies, I have been amazed, impressed and fascinated by his work. With a clear voice, he takes on environmental and social awareness. That he decided to present the sculptures underwater, appeals to me in ways I can not describe with words.
In many ways, it is hard to be original today. That is one of the reasons why I think the museum, appeals to so many divers around the world. Even people who do not have a deeper connection to art.
When my sister finally managed to convince me that I needed a vacation, we quickly booked the trip to Lanzarote. She would get her warmth, and I would finally get my visit to the Museo Atlantico, outside the coast of Playa Blanca.
Already before I left home I would argue if I should bring my flash or not. The truth is that I did not, and I regret it so bad that I do not even want to talk about it. I booked my dive with Rubicon Diving Lanzarote (this is not sponsored), and I was impressed by their kind faces and good service. I am definitely going back, with more light the next time. Nico took care of the group of eight divers like a true professional, and we really did get the time to take the entire experience in.
From the Hybrid Garden, which shows cactuses in all shapes and colours.
This is from the massive piece “Crossing the Rubicon”. And it was larger and more mindblowing in real life than you would imagine.
“Human Gyre” is a masterpiece all on its own. I mean, I would book my flight just to see these piece by itself. I have always been astonished by the details, and it is even more detailed in reality.
I watched my computer as I was descending into the open water. Five meters, eight meters, 13 meters. Luckily I was with a group who had enough skills to stay way clear of the sandy bottom. I think I was ten kilos lighter, considering I wanted to photograph as much as possible. It did not take long before the first sculptures appeared in front of us.
My buddy Liam and I quickly became the last pair. His memory card showed an “error” as he turned on his camera below. I felt so bad for him. As we were swilling around by the statues the entire group suddenly came to a halt, then Nico directed everyone the other way. Just as we were closing in on “The Raft of Lampedusa”. Being way too focused on the photography part, I missed the shark. Leaving him alone, we swam another route.
I must admit, seeing these statues in real life was a dream come true.
Diving is truly entering another world, and experiencing sculptures in this way was mindblowing. The fact that the ocean already had made its mark on the art just made everything more authentic. I was told that there was a 200 percent increase of algae on the work since the beginning, which has enriched the flora in the area, attracting more sardines and sharks to the area.
I was especially excited to see “Crossing the Rubicon” and “Human Gyre”, which has given me goosebumps just by seeing the photographs of them. The artist is currently working on the newest exhibition, “Nexus”, which will be placed in Norway. Let us just say I will not wait for almost two years before I visit that one.
If you are considering giving the museum a go, I highly recommend Rubicon. If you dive in the morning you are one of the first ones there, so the visibilty is much better than in the afternoon.