Europe’s first underwater contemporary art museum, Museo Atlantico, is now open for public. Situated just off the coast of Lanzarote, in the Bahía de Las Coloradas, Canary Island in Spain, people have to dive 12 meters underwater to experience the amazing world.
The project consists of 12 art installations and more than 300 life-size human figures, created by renowned British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. Taylor is an internationally acclaimed sculptor who creates underwater living installations, offering viewers mysterious, ephemeral encounters and fleeting glimmers of another world where art develops from the effects of nature on the efforts of man.
Though the museum officially opened on January 10, the pictures and buzz about the extraordinary project has been doing rounds on social media for about a year. The first phase of this unique museum was deployed by Taylor in February 2016.
Spread over a 2,500-square-metre area, it is accessible to snorkellers and divers. Visitors who do not wish to get in water can observe the installations through glass bottom boats. Priced at € 12,00 for diving and € 8,00 for snorkelling, it will be a tourist and cultural attraction.
Museo Atlántico has been conceived as a place to promote education, and preserve and protect the marine and natural environment as an integral part of the system of human values. The project is designed in a conversational manner so as to create a large-scale pH-neutral artificial reef that the local fish species and marine biomass can go on to habitat and feed off of.
The works incorporate for the first time large architectural components and an underwater botanical sculpture garden referencing local flora of Lanzarote, which has a unique status as a UNESCO World Biosphere Reserve.
The new installations opened for public viewing include 35 figures walking towards a gateway in a 30-metre-long, 100-tonne wall. The work, titled the Crossing the Rubicon, is ‘intended to be a monument to absurdity, a dysfunctional barrier in the middle of a vast fluid, three-dimensional space, which can be bypassed in any direction,’ said. deCaires Taylor to Guardian.
From ‘Immortal Pyre’ and ‘The Human Gyre’ that consists of 207 real-size human figurines, to ‘The Portal’, a unique water within water installation — the artworks are breathtaking. With an effort of almost three years and help from local communities, this project is beyond art, it’s all about diversity and conservation.
This is not the first underwater project by Taylor, however, the project is the first underwater museum in Europe and in the Atlantic Ocean. The Museo Subácuatico in Mexico consists of over 500 life-size sculptures. His other installations are located in the Bahamas and Grenada in the Caribbean.