A new underwater museum has opened in Cannes, France this month. Funded by the Mairie de Cannes and commissioned by its mayor, David Lisnard, the project took over 4 years to develop and is the work of British sculptor Jason de Caires Taylor.
The Museum is Jason de Caires Taylor’s first installation in the Mediterranean Sea. It follows on from his previous work, the most famous of which is the world’s first underwater sculpture park – the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park in Grenada in the Caribbean.
The Museum in Cannes features a series of six monumental three-dimensional portraits, each over two metres in height and ten tons in weight. They are sited near the island of Sainte-Marguerite, one of the Lérins Islands, just off the coast of Cannes. Placed at a depth of between two and three metres, these artworks rest on areas of white sand, in-between oscillating posidonia sea grass meadows in the protected southern part of the island. The shallow depth and close proximity to shore make the site easily accessible, and the crystal-clear waters provide ideal conditions for snorkelling. This is the one museum you can access in a socially-distant way, wearing a scuba mask over your eyes rather than a mask over your mouth.
The six works are based on portraits of local members of the community, covering a range of ages and professions, for example, Maurice – an 80 year old local fisherman – and Anouk – a 9- year old primary school pupil. Each face is significantly upscaled and sectioned into two parts, the outer part resembling a mask. The theme of masks connects to the history of Île Sainte-Marguerite, well known as the location where the Man with the Iron Mask was imprisoned. Cannes, through its famous annual film festival, is well known for its relationship with the performing arts.
The location of the sculptures was previously an area of disused marine infrastructure. Part of the project was a significant clearing of the site, removing marine debris such as old engines and pipelines to create a space for the installation of artworks which have been specifically designed, using Ph neutral materials, to attract marine fauna and flora. The site has now been cordoned off from boats, making it safe for snorkellers and divers, and preventing damage by anchors to the seagrass meadows. Posidonia grass is a vital habitat area and is sometimes referred to as the lungs of the ocean for the vast amount of oxygen it creates. With all his projects, Jason aims to draw attention to the sea as a fragile biosphere in urgent need of protection.
The split mask is a metaphor for the ocean. One side of the mask depicts strength and resilience, the other fragility and decay. From land, we see the surface, calm and serene, or powerful and majestic. This is the view of the mask of the sea. However below the surface is a fragile, finely-balanced ecosystem – one which has been continuously degraded and polluted over the years by human activity.
You can find out more about The Museum and Jason de Caires Taylor at www.underwatersculpture.comor on Instagram – #jasondecairestaylor.
Images: @jasondecairestaylor – www.underwatersculpture.com
Free guided snorkel trip for serving Armed Forces members this Saturday
To mark Armed Forces Day on Saturday 24th June 2023, PADI Dive Centre, Dive In Falmouth, is offering serving members of the Armed Forces and a guest the opportunity to enjoy a free guided snorkel around the Falmouth Coast in Cornwall.
Armed Forces Day is an annual event in the UK celebrated to commemorate the service of men and women in the British Armed Forces.
Dan McColl, a 34-year-old Falmouth resident is Lead Instructor and Founder at Dive In Falmouth. Dan is an ex Royal Marine Commando and Royal Naval Mine Clearance Diver with experience in military, commercial and recreational diver.
Dan tells us: “I have always had a passion for the ocean and am equally passionate about supporting the Armed Forces. I wanted to show my gratitude for the men and women that serve this country by giving back with a special underwater adventure this Armed Forces Day.”
Based on Castle Beach in Falmouth, Dan and his team will provide free guided snorkel trips throughout the day. Attendees will have the opportunity to discover the amazing underwater world around the stunning Cornwall coastline and depending on the weather will see incredible marine life ranging from catsharks and cuttlefish to spider crabs, seals, lobsters and lots more.
Dive In Falmouth offer a range PADI scuba diving courses from Discover Scuba Diving for complete novices through to Open Water certifications, all the way up to Divemaster.
If you are a serving member of the Armed Forces and would like to join Dan and his team for an exciting snorkelling experience, please email: Contactus@diveinfalmouth.com or call 07361 541119 to secure your space.
PADI Dive Centre, Dive In Falmouth offer a 10% discount on all their PADI courses for students, NHS workers and member of the Armed Forces throughout the year. For more information visit: www.diveinfalmouth.com
The Suit Ocean Team leads the Ultimate Curacao Snorkeling Adventure
As passionate residents of our Dutch Caribbean Island, we must congratulate The Suit Ocean Team for creating more awareness about the importance of protecting our beautiful fringing reef systems in Curacao.
The film, Curacao Underwater Kunuku (Kunuku is Papiamento for Garden), not only documents this ultimate snorkeling adventure showing you how easy it is for everyone to access and enjoy a snorkel or diving experience, but it also showcases the interaction between man and nature, highlighting the beauty of underwater life while promoting conservation, preservation and the need to protect these vital habitats.
These are the key ingredients to this beautiful short film documentary. Watch NOW and please enjoy our “CURACAO UNDERWATER KUNUKU”.
This film, produced by the Lawrence Mensa Foundation (LMF), is also available in multiple languages including: Spanish, Papiamentu, Dutch, Portuguese and German.
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