This massive cement sculpture, called “Ocean Atlas,“ is the newest work of famous English-Guyanese underwater photographer and sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. The sculpture was installed on the coastline of New Providence in the Bahamas earlier this month. “Ocean Atlas” refers to the ancient Greek titan Atlas, who help up the heavens. Here, he’s been replaced by a young girl who holds the burden of the ocean on her shoulders.
5 meters (18 ft) tall and weighing more than 60 tonnes, this is the largest underwater sculpture ever installed. The sculpture was made out of concrete using sustainable pH neutral materials to facilitate artificial reef growth and marine life, and was assembled underwater in parts.
The work was commissioned by B.R.E.E.F. (Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation) as part of an underwater sculpture garden in honor of its founder, Sir Nicholas Nuttal. It also draws attention to the numerous threats faced by our oceans’ coral reefs, mostly connected with damaging human activity.
Jason deCaires Taylor is a pioneer of underwater sculptures. In 2006 he founded and created the world’s first underwater sculpture park off the coast of Grenada in the West Indies – one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. The artist also has over 18 years of diving experience as an award-winning underwater photographer who documents the beautiful natural metamorphosis of his underwater artwork.