From partially submerged colour changing sculptures to those only visible 60ft underwater, these are just some of the installations coming to Australia’s Gold Coast as a new museum aimed at protecting and raising awareness of the Great Barrier Reef is unveiled.
Created by sculptor and environmentalist Jason deCaires Taylor, the Museum of Underwater Art (MOUA) features partially and fully submerged installations and sculptures that’ll become sites for new coral and marine life to regenerated after years of destruction.
For decades the Great Barrier Reef, one of the seven wonders of the natural world, has been severely impacted by pollution, rising sea temperatures, coastal development projects, and human destruction. Leading many experts in predicting the reef might not be able to be saved from total destruction.
The MOUA aims to highlight these damaging environmental trends and help raise awareness of how endangered the reef is from disappearing from the world.
Situated off in several Queensland locations including the John Brewer Reef, Magnetic Island, Palm Island, and Townsville. The museum features a submerged collection, with one exception, of artwork and installations that’ll become sites for coral and marine life to hopefully regenerate on.
The first installation is the Ocean Siren, which is a solar-powered sculpture of a young indigenous girl that changes colour as a visual warning of the warming of the water temperatures. It is exposed during low tide.
The Coral Greenhouse is located at the John Brewer Reef, in the heart of the Greater Barrier Reef, and is the largest MOUA installation. Weighing over 58 tonnes, the installation is filled with 20 stone reef guardians – who are able to grow coral on them – inside a steel structure.
Palm Island will feature a cultural story of the island and its connection to the land and sea, and Magnetic Island will also feature a unique project, which has yet to be unveiled.
The Coral Greenhouse was slated for opening April 2020, but has been delayed, while the other installations scheduled for 2021 and 2022 openings.
The new museum is a not-for-profit collaboration between deCaires Taylor, the local Queensland government, James Cook University, the Australian Institute of Marine Science, and the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.
More than two million people visit the Great Barrier Reef each year. The aim is for the new museum to be educationally relevant to scientists, locals, and tourists.
For more information on the Museum of Underwater Art visit MOUA online.