Underwater Museum of Sculptures in the Caribbean Sea: a project by Jason DeCaires Taylor

Posted on April 19, 2011

Last year, I went to Cancun to visit my good friends JD and Alejandra, who were expecting their first child. It was during that 16 day voyage that JD took me to Puerto Morelos, a small fishing village, home of the National Arecife Park. When they decided to escape the harsh Canadian winters, Ale and JD first lived in that pueblito, and were neighbours, for a short time, with this guy, Jason.

When JD took me to Puerto Morelos, we went to visit Jason’s workshop, hidden behind a school in the jungle, on the outskirts of the village. Unfortunately, Jason wasn’t there at the moment, but we were allowed to take the time to check out the sculptures and the process behind the project. Jason DeCaires Taylor was (and I suspect that he probably still is) working on a great number of cement sculptures inspired by the local people (amongst other subjects that served as models). On the walls of his workshop, we could see photos of countless people on which the sculptures were based. These sculptures weren’t meant to be put on the front lawn of houses or around a pool: they were to be sunk deep down in the clear Caribbean sea near Cancun.

The idea is to form an underwater museum and to let the natural fauna and flora integrate the sculptures naturally as part of the underwater environment. Fishes float around the cement bodies and coral grows on the faces of the sunken subjects. Last year, I added this guy to my facebook friends. I don’t know him personally, but the interest I have in this project of his is unrelenting. Every once in a while, I’ll get updates from him and check them out. Since my first visit to his workshop, the work has kept on growing, and it keeps getting more and more media coverage. National Geographic even covered the story!

This morning I just saw this following video posted on my newsreel. I feel compelled to share it with whomever reads my blog because I find it absolutely fascinating. The video takes you through the underwater museum and lets you see the progress by which nature takes in the sculptures, after which you get to see tidbits of the process behind the whole enterprise. Feeling a strong tie to the Puerto Morelos community (to the point which makes it feel like a second home to me), I encourage you to take in the wonderful images of this short video and hope that you’ll enjoy it at leas half as much as I did.


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