2021-10-12 18:00:00


This online seminar, devoted to Underwater imaginaries, will explore experiments with submersion, immersion, and how to build connections to the unseen. We are delighted to  be welcoming the following guests:

Dr Helen Scales is a marine biologist, writer and broadcaster. She teaches at Cambridge University and is science advisor for the marine conservation charity Sea Changers. She divides her time between Cambridge, England, and the wild Atlantic coast of France.

Dr. Scales will talk about how her work as a marine biologist and writer aims to show people the hidden living wonders of the ocean, leading her to collaborate with artists and photographers in bringing visual elements to her words and storytelling, including illustrated books for children and adults. She will focus on her collaboration with Jason deCaires Taylor on a photographic book of his underwater sculptures as well as her work with photographers at National Geographic Magazine.

Dr. Scales is author of the Guardian bestseller Spirals in Time, New Scientist book of the year Eye of the Shoal, and the children’s book The Great Barrier Reef, and co-author of The Underwater Museum: The Submerged Sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor. She writes for National Geographic Magazine, the Guardian, and New Scientist, among others. 

Jason deCaires Taylor is a sculptor, environ-mentalist and profes-sional underwater photo-grapher. Taylor graduated from the London Institute of Arts in 1998 with a BA Honours in Sculpture. Taylor became the first of a new generation of artists to shift the concepts of the Land art movement into the realm of the marine environ-ment.

Taylor‘s presentation will feature a timeline of his work in various locations ranging from the Caribbean coral reefs to the temperate waters of the Atlantic Ocean and the tropical climate of the Indian Ocean. The artworks will be a mixture of underwater and tidal installations with the inclusion of some museum exhibitions. Taylor will discuss how his design ideas, techniques and concepts have evolved throughout his career and explain why they change according to the body of water type and project location. The artworks are not only created to become artificial reefs but are also designed to remind us of our connection to the natural world and highlight the threats to our oceans.

Taylor’s permanent site-specific sculptural works are predominately exhibited underwater in submerged and tidal marine environments, exploring modern themes of conservation and environmental activism. Over the past 15 years, Taylor has been one of the first to consider the underwater realm as a public art space and is best known for his numerous large-scale underwater “Museums” and “Sculpture Parks”. Taylor gained international notoriety in 2006 with the creation of the world’s first underwater sculpture park, situated off the west coast of Grenada in the West Indies. Moilinere Bay Underwater Sculpture Park is now listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic. The park was instrumental in the government declaring the site a National Marine Protected Area. Taylor has gone on produce 1,000+ public terrestrial and underwater sculptures worldwide, which are visited by thousands of visitors each week. 

Al Grumet is the Digital Platform Director of Art Works for Change. He creates storytelling projects and digital exhibitions that address critical social and environmental issues. As a climate activist and multi-media artist, Al works with grassroots organizations, emerging youth activists, and educators to promote national and local action on climate change.

Grumet will give an overview of Art Works for Change before presenting their “Footing the Bill” exhibition via a survey of artworks from the exhibition, notably those conveying the connections between water and ecological overshoot. He will then discuss Jason deCaires Taylor’s work and how it connects to the theme of the exhibition before leading us on a review of the interactive gallery featuring Taylor’s creations.