The Coral Greenhouse and the Ocean Siren, the first phases of UK diver-sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor’s Museum Of Underwater Art (MOUA) project on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, have been unveiled.
When complete, the museum will consist of a series of “galleries” located off Townsville, Magnetic Island and Palm Island.
The artist’s most ambitious project to date, and his first in the Southern Hemisphere, MOUA combines a range of inter-tidal and fully submerged artworks aimed, says Taylor, at encouraging environmental awareness and knowledge of marine ecosystems while complementing the GBR’s natural attractions.
The Coral Greenhouse is open to scuba divers visiting John Brewer Reef.
The 12m-high underwater structure has been designed as “an art space, underwater educational centre, science laboratory and a secure space for marine life”.
Its skeletal frame is designed to dissipate ocean currents while providing an intricate habitat for organic colonisation, with a range of individual sculptures arranged inside it. The greenhouse is surrounded by a series of coral nurseries, organic stems and underwater “trees” designed to facilitate coral rehabilitation.