Jason deCaires Taylor
Jason deCaires Taylor is a man of many identities whose work resonates with the influences of his eclectic life. Growing up in Europe and Asia with his English father and Guyanese mother nurtured his passion for exploration and discovery. Much of his childhood was spent on the coral reefs of Malaysia where he developed a profound love of the sea and a fascination with the natural world. This would later lead him to spend several years working as a scuba diving instructor in various parts of the globe, developing a strong interest in conservation, underwater naturalism and photography. His bond with the sea remains a constant throughout Taylor’s life though other key influences are found far from the oceans. During his teenage years, work as a graffiti artist fired his interest in the relationship between art and the environment, fostering an ambition to produce art in public spaces and directing the focus of his formal art training. He graduated in 1998 from the London Institute of Arts, with a B.A. Honours in Sculpture and Ceramics. Later, experience in Canterbury Cathedral taught him traditional stone carving techniques whilst five years working in set design and concert installations exposed him to cranes, lifting, logistics and completing projects on a grand scale.With this range of experiences he was equipping himself with the skills required to execute the ambitious underwater projects that have made his name. Carving cement instead of stone and supervising cranes while in full scuba gear to create artificial reefs submerged below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, the various strands of his diverse life resolve themselves convincingly in the development of his underwater sculptures. These ambitious, public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats.
Jason deCaires Taylor has gained significant interest and recognition for his unique work, with articles in over 1000 publications around the world, including National Geographic, Vogue, USA Today, Daily Telegraph and The Guardian. His sculptures have aired on television features and documentaries with CNN, Discovery Channel, BBC, Metropolis Art Lounge and Thalassa. His international reputation was established in May 2006, when he created the world’s first underwater sculpture park in Grenada, West Indies, leading to both private and public commissions. Taylor is currently founder and Artistic Director of the Museo Subacuático de Arte (MUSA) in Cancun, Mexico.
Troy has been fond of art since he was young. His imagination developed early and when he was a child he spent time playing in the mud outside his home, in a small village called Morn Delice in Grenada, making little clay people and putting them in the sun to dry. His first recognition as an artist in the making was at primary school when he was placed third in an island-wide competition. This gave him the confidence to continue following his passion. In between jobs he painted until he arrived at ‘Classique Pottery’ where he discovered the different skills and techniques needed for a good foundation in pottery.
His first pieces to appear in the Underwater Sculpture Park were the ‘Amerindian Sculptures’, closely followed by ‘Sienna’, ‘Christ of the Deep’ and most recently ‘The Cyclist’. Second to Jason de Caires Taylor himself, Troy is the most prolific artistic contributor to the park.