Monumental Masks Submerged as Part of the Underwater Museum | My Modern Met

By Samantha Pires on February 20, 2021

These massive masks are helping to protect and provide refuge for marine life.

British sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor uses his artistic practice to help conserve our environment. More specifically, his sculptures protect and provide refuge for marine life in the form of innovative underwater museums. Taylor’s latest endeavor is the underwater Cannes Museum that features six monumental faces wearing masks. At over six feet tall, each sculpture towers above visiting divers while working to preserve the surrounding Posidonia oceanica seagrass meadows.

Aside from creating an interesting new diving spot, the Cannes Museum project cleared debris from the protected areas of Sainte-Marguerite island and may help to attract future flora and fauna. Initial steps included the removal of old boat engines, pipes, and other human-made debris.

After the cleanup, Taylor’s focus was not only to mediate problems caused by humans but to leave the area better than it was before. The structures were designed to highlight the critical Posidonia seagrass meadows as an important ecosystem. They are placed in open areas of white sand between pockets of meadow. As a result, boats are no longer allowed to anchor near the museum, preventing further damage or build-up of debris near this ecosystem.[…]

If you would like to hear more about his work and art’s ability to influence the environment, check out [their] talk with Taylor on the Top Artist podcast.

More: Monumental Masks Submerged as Part of the Underwater Museum

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