If you’re swimming in one particular section in Nassua, Bahamas you may come face to face with this huge new sculpture, titled Ocean Atlas. Installed at the beginning of October, Ocean Atlas is the latest underwater sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor. It depicts a young local Bahamian girl holding up the ceiling of the ocean. During low tide, the water will reflect a mirror image of the sculpture on the underside of the sea’s surface.
The work is the largest single sculpture ever to be deployed underwater, at 5 meters tall by 4 meters wide (or 16 feet by 13 feet) and 60 tons. It took the artist one year to design the and build the beautiful sculpture. It was made in layers and cut from a CNC router, which is computer controlled cutting machine. Assembled underwater in sections, it was deCaires Taylor’s most ambitious work to date.
Constructed using sustainable pH neutral materials, the work is meant to be an artificial reef for marine life. The sculpture draws tourists away from overstressed natural reefs. As the artist states, “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.”
If you were curious about that stick on the top of the sculpture, it holds a flag to help navigate boats away from the area.