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Thursday, October 4, 2012

Must-SEA property: Artist's underwater homes create submerged city for those who want to sleep with the fishes


Down where it's wetter: The beautifully made houses sit deep below the sea in a Mexican marine park

First, he submerged people and a Volkswagen Beetle deep below the ocean's surface.
Now, he has built underwater homes for them to live in.
Beautiful sculptures made by British artist Jason deCaires Taylor are transforming the seabed into a real-life city of Atlantis.
His elegant new buildings in the Isla Mujeres National Marine Park, Mexico, will not only house his earlier works, but are designed to be homes for marine life.

Lost world: The cleverly designed houses look like part of the fabled city of Atlantis

The houses took six months in total to build and were transported from Cancun to Isla Mujeres by car ferry before a 40-ton crane was used to place them on the seabed.
Two years ago, he sank 400 individually cast human moulds of the Mexican public into the water in the area to create the basis of his artificial reef.
In June 2011, he lowered a concrete VW classic into the water, complete with a female figure curled up on the bonnet and with holes in the windows to let the fish in.
The iconic car even features compartments inside so lobsters can make the vehicle their home.

Sea life: Four hundred casts of Mexican people form the basis of Jason deCaires Taylor's man-made reef

Life aquatic: The artist uses a porous pH-neutral concrete, painted with a special substance that encourages coral growth, providing the perfect habitat for sea creatures

DeCaires Taylor said: 'In a gallery, you get one perspective. Underwater, you can fly over the sculptures, go between them.
'The light is very different and is affected by the surface of the sea. It has a lost feel to it, which I really like.'
There is also a practical, ecological aspect to his art. 'When I became a diving instructor, I saw the decimation of the coral reefs, so I got into the idea of making art as artificial reefs,' he said.
'I wanted to create an image of humans living in balance with nature instead of in opposition to it.'

Mysteries of the deep: Experienced diver DeCaires Taylor wanted to created a vision of humans 'living in balance with nature'

DeCaires Taylor, who has made similar creations around the world, uses a porous pH-neutral concrete, painted with a special substance that encourages coral growth, providing the perfect habitat for sea creatures.
It is hoped that the man-made reef will also reduce the pressure on natural reefs in the area, which 750,000 people visit every year.
The ambitious work does come at a price, however.
His latest project at the park on the Yucatan Peninsula cost an eye-watering $200,000.

Watery graves: The talented British artist has transformed seabeds across the world with his ethereal sculptures

'I've been diving for about 18 years now and have clocked up over 4,000 hours underwater,' he added.
'All my family and friends have been very supportive but aren't keen on me exposing myself to the dangers of working underwater for such lengths of time.'
DeCaires Taylor created the world's first underwater sculpture

Ambitious and amphibious: DeCaires Taylor's latest project has cost an eye-watering $200,000

Water babies: The lifelike statues have all been placed deep down on the seabed using a crane

Water hazard: Two years ago, the modern artist dropped an iconic VW Beetle on to the seabed

source: dailymail

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