Bahamian girl immortalized with world’s largest under water sculpture

Resting on the ocean floor, towering nearly 17-feet-tall, kneels a young Bahamian girl supporting the ceiling of the water on her shoulders. “Ocean Atlas” is the most recent work by underwater sculpture artist Jason deCaires Taylor, installed earlier this month off the western coastline of New Providence in Nassau, Bahamas. The work alludes to Atlas, the Titan of Greek mythology whose eternal punishment of holding the world on his back has inspired artistic renditions for centuries. Created with a high-density, pH-neutral marine cement engineered to last for hundreds of years, “Ocean Atlas” also serves as an artificial reef to foster local marine life.

Weighing 60 tons, “Ocean Atlas” is the largest single sculpture to reside underwater, according to Taylor. A local student named Camilla served as the model for the colossal girl, who gazes serenely at her surroundings, her head resting sideways on one bent knee, further propped up by her arm. During low tide, her reflection appears on the underside of the sea’s surface, creating an illusion of a mirror for divers. To place her carefully in site, Taylor had to develop a technique that involved lowering and assembling the work in smaller sections.
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