Jason deCaires Taylor is drawing closer to the installation of his latest and most ambitious underwater art project to date: MOUA, the Museum Of Underwater Art within the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
Undoubtedly one of Jason’s most challenging projects the new museum will feature a series of galleries located throughout Townsville, Magnetic Island, Palm Island and the Great Barrier Reef region. The first galleries are due to open to the public in December 2019.
For the first time Jason will be combining a range of inter-tidal and fully submerged artworks including pioneering large scale architectural installations and sculptural works that change in response to the environmental conditions.
MOUA is also the first major project for Jason in the Southern Hemisphere and the installation will include the first ever sculptures to be placed within the world famous Great Barrier Reef. Already more than two years in the planning, MOUA is a not for profit collaborative project funded by the Australian and Queensland Governments with Australian corporate partners. The project brings together reef, tourism and science partners including the James Cook University and the Australian Institute of Marine Science and seeks approvals through the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
The museum aims to encourage environmental awareness, increase knowledge of marine ecosystems and help instigate social change whilst leading visitors to appreciate the breathtaking natural beauty of the Great Barrier Reef. Through interpretation centres, trained guides and thoughtful designs of both the artworks and the experience, the sculptures will convey vital messages about the threats to oceanic marine systems and our deep-rooted dependency on the sea.
The first installation, due to be unveiled in December 2019, will be a coastal based, solar powered sculpture of a young indigenous girl issuing a warning about rising sea temperatures. Using live temperature data from active sites on the Great Barrier Reef, the outer layer of the sculpture will change colour in response to changes in water temperature creating a visual representation of live conditions underwater. By using data supplied by AIMS atmospheric weather stations the work aims to connect the general public directly to marine issues as they occur in real-time. Conveying statistical scientific data in a raw, visceral and emotive way.
The second phase of the museum will feature a Coral Greenhouse situated in the heart of the Great Barrier Reef at John Brewer Reef. The large scale 12m high underwater botanical structure is designed as an art space, underwater educational centre, science laboratory and a secure space for marine life, a symbol of underwater stewardship which connects to the local community and wealth of marine science institutions in the local region.
The unique skeletal design has been engineered to dissipate ocean currents whilst providing an intricate habitat for marine life. The contemporary Greenhouse will be surrounded by sea-scaping; a series of coral nurseries, organic stems and underwater trees all designed in a way to facilitate coral rehabilitation activities.