In 2006, British artist Jason deCaires Taylor founded The Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park, a unique display of art that is submerged off the coast of Grenada. Recently, the underwater garden welcomed 27 new sculptures by Taylor and four by local artists, all of which are inspired by Grenada's annual Spicemas carnival. This new collection is titled The Coral Carnival, and features an array of figurative works embodying characters from the carnival, some of which are even rendered in color.
Taylor is known for using his artistic practice to help conserve the environment. All of the sculptural works are made with high-grade stainless steel and pH-neutral marine cement, ensuring that they are not only safe for sea creatures, but also beneficial. Additionally, the bases of the sculptures are rendered as lifelike rock formations with crevices and holes for marine life like octopi and lobsters to find protection and refuge. For the first time, there is even colorful details painted onto some of the works, which is made from a environmentally safe calcium carbonate base and natural pigments.
The newest additions are located in a linear procession along the sea floor at a depth of about 3 meters (just under 10 feet), so snorkelers can easily explore the gallery. Twenty-five of the sculptures from The Coral Carnival are life-cast from people of the local community. Some of the most iconic masqueraders from the carnival are depicted, including Jab Jab, a main character unique to Grenada, who wears a chain that symbolizes emancipation. Others include Short Knee, dressed in a 3/4 jumpsuit and ankle bells; and Vieux Corps, who can be identified by tall pointed hats and full-length cloaks. Also featured is the Wild Indian character, which originates “from the Amerindian heritage of immigrants from South America,” and costumed dancers of Fancy Mas, who are decorated in painted jewels, sequins, and feathers. Eventually, the painted color will be replaced by vibrant marine life as it grows over the sculptures, so this art remains ever-evolving.
Scroll down to see more amazing pieces from the collection, and be sure to follow Taylor on Instagram to keep up to date with his latest projects.