Underwater Sculpture Rises from the Seabed in Indonesia

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The world-renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has completed one of his most ambitious works yet – a man-made reef in the shallow waters off a beach voted Indonesia's best by Tripadvisor.

Nest, an Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor, Rises from the Seabed in Indonesia

For more than a decade, the British-born artist has created hauntingly beautiful sculptures in waters from the Caribbean to the Canary Islands and the River Thames. Read our early interview with him here, and our features on his work at the Museo Atlantico in Lanzarote, the Museo Subaquático de Arte (MUSA) in Mexico (and here), and on the Thames.

His latest work, entitled Nest, is formed of 48 life-size human figures set in shallow water a short swim from the soon to be completed beachclub at BASK Gili Meno, a sustainable resort being developed on one of Indonesia's most unspoilt tropical islands.

Nest, an Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor, Rises from the Seabed in Indonesia

The final figures of NEST have been installed and is now open to the public. The sculpture is located a short distance from the breathtakingly pristine tropical island of Gili Meno, one of the three Gili Islands located between Bali and Lombok. Nest features a ring of human figures, each sculpted from pH neutral, environmental grade concrete and based on the casts of real people. The material provides a natural home for corals, and within a year the ocean's teeming marine life population will transform the sculpture into a reef. The work will continue to evolve and transform as the reef forms around it.

Nest, an Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor, Rises from the Seabed in Indonesia

NEST creates a new habitat space, a nucleus of protection and support. The circular formation evokes time and continuum, an echo of the circle of life. The interlocking figures situated upon the edge of the reef in a nutrient rich current offer a platform for soft corals, sponges, and other filter feeding organisms to colonise and inhabit, whilst reminding us of our connectivity to the marine environment. Over time, as marine life takes hold, further layers of marine biomass will be added naturally, creating a complex symbiotic artwork and an invaluable space for life to thrive. The installation, situated in a nutrient rich current, will be colonised quickly by corals to create a vibrant ecosystem and increase biodiversity.

Nest, an Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor, Rises from the Seabed in Indonesia

Gili Meno has a permanent population of just 500 people and is lapped by warm, crystal clear waters famed for their turtle population and blessed with one of the world’s richest ecosystems. The sculpture, commissioned by the award-winning luxury resort developer BASK, is the first time Taylor has worked in the Asiatic region and its shallow depth of four metres and superb visibility make it an ideal installation for snorkelling. When completed in early 2019, BASK Gili Meno will comprise of 87 secluded, chic and airy villas, each designed to celebrate natural beauty and respect the local culture. 

Nest, an Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor, Rises from the Seabed in Indonesia

The development blends sustainable materials, modern architecture, and the latest energy-saving technology, as well as sensitivity to the car-free island's unspoilt natural environment. 

Greg Meyer, CEO of BASK Gili Meno, commented: "Gili Meno is a pristine island paradise and we're determined that it should remain so. Our vision for BASK Gili Meno is to create an exclusive retreat that blends seamlessly into the rich tropical landscape.

"Jason's works aren't just sculptures, they are vibrant, thriving ecosystems in their own right. Nest is more than just a thing of beauty that will draw visitors to the island – as a perfect intersection of mankind and nature, it also symbolises what we're trying to achieve at BASK Gili Meno." 

Nest, an Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor, Rises from the Seabed in Indonesia

Jason deCaires Taylor added: "First and foremost, Nest is an environmental space. The figures are arranged in a circular formation as an echo of the circle of life, and they will soon teem with life. Soft corals and sponges should flourish quickly paving the way for delicate hard corals and a fully established reef.

"But Nest is also a bridge between the human and marine worlds. It's accessible to anyone and is just a short swim from a beach open to all. I hope people will visit it both as a piece of art and as an entrance point to the underwater world.

"40% of the world's coral reefs have been lost over the past few decades and scientists predict many more are now at risk. We hope Nest will remind visitors of the many treasures of the underwater world and how fragile they are."

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Nest: an Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor Rises from the Seabed in Indonesia

All information and photos contained herein courtesy and copyright Jason deCaires Taylor.

 

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