First it was an underwater museum in the Atlantic Ocean; then last year, British eco-artist Jason deCaires Taylor created a sculpture of 48 life-sized human figures just beneath the surface off Gili Meno island. Earlier this month, Taylor’s latest work is unveiled in Maldives—behold the Coralarium, the world’s first semi-submerged art gallery.
Sitting in the midst of the pristine atoll that is also home to the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi resort, the Coralarium’s tidal gallery space showcases a series of sculptural artworks both above and under water. Resort guests can enjoy the view of the ocean with the semi-submerged Coralarium visible on the horizon from the shore, or take a short swim out to discover the captivating work of art with a message by Taylor up-close.
“Over the years I have realised that the really humbling thing about what we do is that once we submerge the sculptures they’re not ours anymore. As soon as we sink them, they belong to the sea and nature takes over,” says Jason deCaires Taylor. “The Coralarium is a place of preservation, conservation and education. Together with the resort we hope to raise awareness for the protection of Maldivian coral reefs.”
The project is Maldives’ first coral regeneration project in the from of an Underwater Art installation. The artwork itself acts as an artificial reef, made using non-toxic, pH-neutral marine-grade compounds free from harmful pollutants, which will eventually become a part of the local ecosystem.
Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi is located at Shaviyani Atoll, North Maldives. For more information about the works of underwater naturalist and artist Jason deCaires Taylor, visit www.underwatersculpture.com.
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