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Anthropocene World

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I’m shouting out for the fabulous underwater sculpture museums that are beginning to reap rewards for oceans in trouble. They are an inspired, vital step in the right direction. A vision that is slowly becoming a triumph for marine ecosystems in specially selected hotspots. Like reefs that have been over-dived or ocean habitats that have been impacted by human activity, over-fishing or by climate change. In an instant, barren reaches of seabed, otherwise devoid of biomass are being transformed into sensational, contemporary spaces. Left to nature’s own device, ocean recovery takes too long and in our Anthropocene age, we no longer have that luxury.

I’ve loved discovering these works of art. Made from pH neutral materials designed to encourage natural growth, they are thought provoking statements. In no time at all various types of algae take hold leading to a linked reaction up the food chain of life. Hydroids, sponges and corals follow close behind. Small critters find homes and food amongst the texture and tapestry that forms over the shapes. Small fish and then bigger fish build the picture. Life mimics art.

What I like so much about these sculptures are the messages behind each piece. They have crafted stories, highlighting the general apathy or denial over the state of our oceans and planet. The visuals are intended to provoke. It’s right up my street!

As time moves forward, subtle and obvious changes occur within the living museum. It’s an observation of gradual decay and it’s a celebration of rebirth, on a grand scale with an ever-changing canvas. I appreciate the irony in the concept. More than that, I appreciate the immense effort going into these artificial reefs and rejuvenation projects.

Photographed in Mexico at the Museo Subacuático de Arte, Isla Mujeres.
ISO200. f/11. 1/100secs. Sigma 10-20mm lens. Twin INON S2000's.