The Underwater Art Museum in Isla Mujeres National Marine Park near Cancun, Mexico is home to Jason de Caires Taylor’s. His work covers an area of over 1,000,000 square miles and is completely filled with water. A graduate of Camberwell College of Arts, London and qualified diving instructor, Taylor has found a unique way to combine his artwork, his passion for the environment, and his love of diving—by creating the world’s first underwater sculpture garden.
This accumulated colonization of coral becomes a physical equivalent to conventional mark making of drawing and painting.
The work reflects the time-based observation associated with the classical study of still life composition. It reminds us that changes are inevitable.
The cement figure has 75 holes planted with live cuttings of fire coral (Millepora alcicorni ).This is a fast growing marine organism, yellow, orange and brown in colour which emits a painful stinging sensation when touched, thus reflecting its name and the title of the sculpture. It is anticipated that over time the figure will appear to be on fire underwater. The holes have been drilled on each profile of the body so that when the coral starts developing it will grow in pointed fingers resembling flames. Thus, when covered in coral and viewed from a distance there will appear the silhouette of a figure in flames. The fire coral has been sourced from fragments damaged by human activity or by tropical storms. A small proportion has also been artificially grown.