Sunday, March 4, 2012

Thinking under water

Some time ago, while working on a dry stone wall project at a cottage up in Port Carling Ontario I experimented with building a free standing stone arch under water.  I gathered about a dozen suitable stones along the sandy shore bottom. With the help of two other colleagues we struggled to balance the rocks under the water. Holding the stones  (and our breath) we tried different configurations to see if we could fit the semi-weightless stones into an arch.

After several failed attempts we managed to build a small 4 foot arch on the sandy lake bottom about five feet below the surface.

Inexpensive underwater digital cameras were not as common back then so the only shots we could take were from above, and because of refraction the images were foreshortened.

Immediately after we completed it, a small perch swam under the arch and hovered there and didn't seem to be concerned about how close we were. He ended up being in every one of the our photos of the underwater arch. We joked that the fish probably had always wanted to live in tank where he could swim through one of those phony plastic aquarium arches all day, and so in a way, his fishy wish had come true.

This underwater 'wet stone' sculpture would have been just a neat  balancing act had it not been for the fish who imparted an element of life into it.

Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor

Carving cement instead of stone (and supervising cranes while in full scuba gear to create an artificial reef gallery submerged below the surface of the Caribbean Sea), Jason deCaires has dived into a whole new art form where his unusual sculptures come alive too, as coral and other sea life transform his works, revealing deeper levels of beauty and significance.


  1. Lovely whimsical idea!

  2. You've inspired me so much , I need to marry my glass with your rocks.
    I've been invited to do an installation at the Maloof Foundation's
    "Sculpture in the Garden" show ,which runs for three months, from
    April. I'd like to do a dry stack "fan"
    I follow your blog and always like the range of approches you can
    bring to drywalling......underwater with a perch!!!!