If you’re anywhere near London’s Vauxhall Bridge between now and 30 September, don’t be surprised to see four heads peeping out of the Thames at high tide.
And if you wait long enough, the bodies of four shire horses – complete with children and suited horsemen – will be revealed as the tide goes out.
Racing Extinction – endangered species light up Empire State Building
Installed just a short distance from the Houses of Parliament, The Rising Tide is a political comment on the impact of fossil fuels.
Each horse’s head has been replaced with the ‘horse head’ of an oilwell pump, and the four horsemen of the Apocalypse – two politicians and two children – place those making the decisions side-by-side with those who will experience the consequences.
Scientists predict that sea levels could rise by around one metre (3.2 feet) or more by 2100, potentially flooding low-lying cities and countries around the world. The politicians’ grazing horses are captured taking from the ground as the tide slowly rises around them.
The life-sized sculpture is the work of world-renowned underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. Born in 1974 to an English father and Guyanese mother, Jason grew up in Europe and Asia, where he spent much of his early childhood exploring the coral reefs of Malaysia.
Jason 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.
Jason is also an award-winning underwater photographer, famous for dramatic images that capture the metamorphosing effects of the ocean on his evolving sculptures.
In 2006, Jason 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.
In 2009 Jason 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.
Taylor’s 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 develop an appreciation of the breathtaking natural beauty of the underwater world.
The installation is fully visible from the riverside walkway for up to two hours either side of low tide. Click here to find out more.
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