British artist Jason deCaires Taylor has completed his underwater contemporary museum off the south east coast of Lanzarote, Spain after years of work. The permanent installation is constructed at around 14 meters deep and features 10 different installations with over 300 figurative works. The museum uses environmentally friendly, pH neutral inert materials and is the first time large scale architectural elements have been deployed underwater occupying a barren area of sand-covered sea bed. Local residents and visiting tourists were invited by the artist to participate in the project by modeling for life casts—a process where the body is covered in skin safe sculpting materials and a cast of the body and face is made to produce a figurative sculpture to be included in the museum.
The project draws on the dialogue between art and nature. It is designed on a conservational level to create a large scale artificial reef to aggregate local fish species and increase marine biomass whilst, on the other hand, questions the commodification and delineation of the worlds natural resources and raises awareness to current threats facing the worlds oceans. The central concept is depicted by means of a monumental gateway and wall, which include a series of installations based on the dialogue between past and present and the divisions within society with both political and social comment. The works incorporate for the first time large architectural components and an underwater botanical sculpture garden referencing local flora of Lanzarote, which has unique status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.+