The Pride of Brexit

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture
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Note: This is an important column from one of our favorite artists and environmentalists, Jason deCaires Taylor (you've seen his work here on Wandering Educators for years). Jason allowed us to republish this article about an incredible new art installation, called Pride of Brexit.

 

First of all, I am British and very proud of my country, but having lived through three years of aggressive, divisive and destructive debate I felt compelled, as an artist, to convey my despair at the situation in which we find ourselves and create a monument to one of the most unpatriotic events Britain has ever seen. 

The Pride of Brexit, English Channel. Jason deCaires Taylor

The Pride of Brexit is intended as a physical manifestation of the effects of Brexit, a collective moment of self harm that has been inflicted upon us through lies and propaganda, financed by a wealthy, unaccountable elite. 

The Pride of Brexit, English Channel. Jason deCaires Taylor

The three wretched lions frame Brexit as an act of gross national flagellation. Situated on the shores of the English Channel, surrounded by the iconic white cliffs, they are washed up, exhausted, emaciated and dying. 

The Pride of Brexit, English Channel. Jason deCaires Taylor

The Pride of Brexit, English Channel. Jason deCaires Taylor

In London, they stand as monuments to our delusions, disfigured by the toxic language of Brexit and its main protagonists.

The Pride of Brexit, London. Jason deCaires Taylor

The Pride of Brexit, London. Jason deCaires Taylor

The Pride of Brexit, London. Jason deCaires Taylor

Sold to the population as regaining control and sovereignty of the country, Brexit has divided us, threatened the Union of Britain, caused billions of pounds worth of economic damage, weakened our institutions, eroded our faith in politicians, and opened the door for exploitation by large corporations and unaccountable foreign interests. It has undermined the UK ‘s reputation as a welcoming, open and rational society, and limited opportunities for our children.

The Pride of Brexit, London. Jason deCaires Taylor

The Pride of Brexit, London. Jason deCaires Taylor

Instead of focusing our attention on the pressing issues of the day - the climate emergency, child poverty, the housing crisis, the importance of our NHS - we have had a national identity crisis forced upon us. The three proud British lions will only regain their health when the Brexit folly is abandoned and we, as a nation, can turn our attention to the issues that really matter.

 

Jason deCaires Taylor is a sculptor, environmentalist and professional underwater photographer. Born in 1974, Taylor graduated from the London Institute of Arts in 1998 with a BA Honours in Sculpture.

His permanent site-specific works span several continents and predominately explore submerged and tidal marine environments. His multi-disciplinarily sculptural works explore modern themes of conservation and environmental activism; Over the past 10 years Taylor has created several large-scale underwater “Museums” and “Sculpture Parks”, with collections of over 850 life-size public works.

A prolific sculptor, he became the first of a new generation of artists to shift the concepts of the Land art movement into the realm of the marine environment. He gained international notoriety in 2006 with the creation of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, situated off the west coast of Grenada in the West Indies. Now listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic the park was instrumental in the government declaring the site a National Marine Protected Area. This was followed in 2009 when he co-founded MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte), a vast collection of over 500 of his sculptural works, installed between Cancun and Isla Mujeres in Mexico.

Other major projects include Museo Atlantico (2016), a collection over 300 submerged sculptures and architectural forms in Lanzarote, Spain, the first of its kind in European waters. The Rising Tide (2016 Thames London) and Ocean Atlas a monumental 60-ton single sculpture located in the Bahamas.

All photos courtesy and copyright Jason deCaires Taylor

 

 

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