St. George’s, Grenada – The Grenada Tourism Authority has unveiled 31 new sculptures to be added to the underwater sculpture park – a thriving underwater oasis that has become a symbol of art, conservation and cultural pride in Grenada. The unveiling of the new sculptures is part of a rehabilitation and upgrade initiative for the world’s first underwater sculpture park, which celebrates artistic expression and cultural richness by embracing the preservation of marine life.
Renowned artist Jason deCaires Taylor, who created the first sculptures for the underwater sculpture park in 2006, contributed twenty-five of the captivating sculptures in a collection titled “The Coral Carnival”. According to Taylor, “The collection is steeply connected to the island’s unique culture and heritage, which includes sculpted pieces of the Jab Jab, Vieux Corps, Pretty Mas, Shortknee, and Wild Indian. What makes this installation especially unique is the painting of the sculptures that reflects the vibrancy of Spicemas, which is a first for me in this terrain."
Additionally, Taylor created two replacement sculptures, "The Lost Correspondent" and "The Unstill Life," for the underwater gallery.
Adding a touch of local ingenuity, four mesmerizing sculptures - La Diablesse, Mama Glo, Bélé Dancer and Leatherback Turtle - created by local artist Troy Lewis were also unveiled. The La Diablesse and Bélé Dancer, as well as the Coral Carnival, were inspired by a local design competition run by the Grenada Tourism Authority. The winning designers were Alleyne Gulston in first place, Brittney Baptiste in second place and Nemika Drakes in third position.
Leading up to their underwater immersion, all the sculptures will be on display at Prickly Bay Marina until October 2023 allowing the public to visit and discover the artistry and creativity that flourishes in Grenada.
At the unveiling ceremony, Chairman of the Grenada Tourism Authority Randall Dolland, remarked, "This is a proud moment for Grenadians, as we can now boast of our Carnival and Folklore characters underwater. Upon successful installation, we anticipate increased social media attention surrounding the new additions, enticing visitors to experience these new cultural pieces. It is a great time to start exporting our culture. Additionally, the sculptures are a testament to our commitment to marine sustainability and the growth of corals and underwater life in our marine protected areas."
Minister with responsibility for Economic Development, Planning, Tourism, ICT and Creative Economy, Hon. Lennox Andrews stated, "We are all happy to witness the culmination of this project, which is a demonstration of creativity and originality in our tourism industry and shows the continuous evolution in the quality of the products available to our visitors. As a result of this expansion project, we expect to attract more attention to our shores and to our marine environment in the coming years."
The sculptures will rest as part of the underwater landscape, offering an enduring testament to the interplay between creativity and sustainability within the marine environment as well as the longevity of the tourism industry.