Did you know that The Bahamas is home to The World’s Largest Underwater Sculpture?
Installed October 2014, a short swim off the coast of western New Providence, British sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor’s Ocean Atlas is 18-foot-tall statue of a young Bahamian girl who appears to be holding up the ocean. The work alludes to Titan Atlas of Greek mythology, who holds up the heavens. This sculpture is depicted as a young local Bahamian girl sustaining the ceiling of the ocean, symbolically represents the shouldering of the environmental burden we are asking of younger future generations. The sculpture has captured the attention of artists and divers from around the world.
The largest single sculpture ever to be deployed underwater, it reaches from the sea floor five meters up to the surface and weighs over sixty tonnes. Assembled underwater in sections using an ambitious new technique developed and engineered by Jason deCaires Taylor.
Jason deCaires Taylor is no stranger to underwater sculptures, and is known around the world for his amazing installations using pH-neutral concrete that are accessible by swimmers, snorkelers and scuba divers. Over time, his sculptures change colors and become covered with coral and biological growth, eventually becoming home to new organisms as artificial reefs.
The sculpture commissioned by B.R.E.E.F (Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation) aims to create an underwater sculpture garden in honor of its founder Sir Nicholas Nuttall. It includes other sculptural works by local artists Willicey Tynes and Andret John and an artificial reef trail designed by Reefball. With our oceans and coral reefs currently facing collapse from numerous threats including; overfishing, habitat loss, ocean acidification, global warming and water pollution the piece symbolizes the burden we are currently asking future generations to carry and the collective responsibility we have to prevent its collapse.
The work, which during low tide will reflect a mirror image on the underside of the sea’s surface, is a dramatic increase in scale from Taylor’s previous works and ensures that even after substantial coral growth the figure will still remain highly recognisable. A solar light and flag is located on the highest point to aid marine navigation. Constructed using sustainable pH neutral materials it creates an artificial reef for marine life to colonise and inhabit, whilst drawing tourists away from over stressed natural reef areas.
Not far from Rudder Cut Cay, (one of the magician David Copperfield’s resort islands), is a sunken statue of a mermaid. The sculpture is officially named The Musician and was also created by the artists Jason DeCairnes Taylor.
David Copperfield installed the underwater sculpture off the SW coast of Rudder Cut Cay to amuse his resort guests. The underwater sculpture consist of a stainless steel mermaid lying in attentive rapture on the seafloor near the bench of a baby grand piano with open lid. Currents are quite strong in the area making it a challenge to see the sculpture in the crystal clear water.
Exuma’s the only place in the world you can tickle some keys or swim with a mermaid…even if they are stationary. The trip to Rudder Cut Cay will take you past Musha Cay and further south you will find Big Farmers Cay. Located just south of Big Farmer's Cay, is a stretch of pure white sand which emerges from blue-green water at low tide. It is widely known as the "Mile-long Sandbar" and is perfect for shelling, sunbathing, and picnicking. You will have it all to yourself on most days!
photos and information courtesy of B.R.E.E.F.