Conservation efforts in the Maldives take on a sculptural art form
The world’s first semi-submerged art gallery has been launched in the Fairmont Maldives Sirru Fen Fushi. Created by renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor, the Underwater Art Installation—the first in Maldives—doubles as a coral regeneration project while exhibiting a series of sculptural artworks on the surface. The installation, placed to be exactly in line with horizon, becomes a linear extension of the resort.
He says, “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”.
He adds that he hopes to “raise awareness for the protection of Maldivian coral reefs…to see a better future for the ocean, for people to see it as a delicate place, worthy of our protection”.
The habitat space displays a fusion of terrestrial shapes interspersed with marine life. Jason specifically chose materials such as non-toxic, pH-neutral marine-grade compounds without any harmful pollutants, configurations and textures that encourage biomass to settle here and create in effect, an artificial reef.
The underwater gallery will host ten hybrid organic forms and a series of terrestrial species like shells, bread-fruit shapes and leaf formations. Small group guided tours led by the resort’s resident marine biologists are available several times a day.