'The Rising Tide' sculpture
A striking set of sculptures by Jason deCaires Taylor, which explore attitudes to climate change
About the sculptures
Jason deCaires Taylor’s hybrid sculptures fuse oil extraction machinery with the equine form, referencing the working horse whilst drawing attention to our ongoing dependency on fossil fuels and the potential apocalyptic outcome of climate change. Each of the horses has a different rider.
The suited figures illustrate an attitude of denial or ambivalence towards our current climate crisis whereas the young riders represent hope in effecting future change.
The sculptures in London
The sculpture was originally commissioned by the ‘Totally Thames’ festival in 2015, funded by Lumina Prime8 and Art-Biosphere. Before coming here, the installation was positioned on the Thames shoreline opposite Tate Britain, where the rising and falling tide partially revealed and concealed the sculptures twice daily. Combined with this tidal effect, the sculptures symbolised our desire to control natural forces and their position in a vast body of moving water highlighted our inherent fragility.
It was intended to provide a disturbing metaphor for rising sea levels, demonstrating how little time we have to act, yet crucially it offers hope as it reset itself each day offering us the opportunity for change.
We installed them here at the Eden Project on the eve of the climate negotiations in Paris (COP21) and to launch our first Festival of Hope event. Find out more about the second Festival of Hope event.
About the artist
Jason deCaires Taylor, described by Foreign Policy magazine as the ‘Jacques Cousteau of the art world’, is an internationally-acclaimed sculptor who creates underwater, living installations.
Taylor graduated from the London Institute of Arts in 1998 with a BA Honours in Sculpture and went on to become a fully qualified diving instructor and underwater naturalist.
With over 20 years' diving experience under his belt, Taylor is also an award winning underwater photographer, famous for his dramatic images, which capture the metamorphosing effects of the ocean on his evolving sculptures.
In 2006, Taylor founded and created the world’s first underwater sculpture park. Situated off the west coast of Grenada in the West Indies it is now listed as one of the Top 25 Wonders of the World by National Geographic and was instrumental in the creation of a National Marine Protected Area by the local Government.
Following on in 2009 he co-founded MUSA (Museo Subacuático de Arte), a monumental museum with a collection of over 500 of his sculptural works, submerged off the coast of Cancun, Mexico; described by Forbes as one of the world’s most unique travel destinations.
Both these ambitious, permanent public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats.
Taylor’s art is like no other, a paradox of creation, constructed to be assimilated by the ocean and transformed from inert objects into living breathing coral reefs, portraying human intervention as both positive and life-encouraging.
His pioneering public art projects are not only examples of successful marine conservation, but works of art that seek to encourage environmental awareness, instigate social change and lead us to appreciate the breath-taking natural beauty of the underwater world.
The Rising Tide is a unique opportunity for a private individual or institution to purchase only the second Jason Taylor sculpture to be made available to the market, with the last sold more than five years ago. Find out more on Jason's website