Seeing photos of this underwater sculpture inspired some of my own artwork in my art classes in high school, and today I finally got to explore it in person!
This piece is "Vicissitudes" by Jason de Caires Taylor, who founded and created the world's first underwater museum in Grenada in 2006. It was created from casts of a group of children from diverse ethnic backgrounds, and it's meant to represent unity and continuum, as well as showcase how time and environment impact our physical form, since they mutate as coral grows on the statues and sea currents chip away at them. It also highlights how children are adaptive to their surroundings and and uses them to show the importance of creating a sustainable environment for future generations. The original sculpture was sunk in 2007, but surges kept knocking it over, so this is actually a better-braced recreation using the original casts. The original sculptures are going to be turned into smaller circles.
Many people think that this sculpture was a tribute to the African slaves thrown overboard during the Middle Passage--though this was not Taylor's original intent, he is encouraged by how his art has resonated in different communities and feels that the purpose of art is to help us question identity and history and stimulate debate.
Taylor is probably best known for his most ambitious project of creating MUSA, the world's largest underwater sculpture park, off the coast of Cancun (I actually thought this sculpture was there when I first visited Cancun), and though this original Grenada park is small, there are some fun quirks to it. The first underwater sculpture he ever created is called "Un Still Life"--it's a parody of how most artists paint a still life as their first painting, but it's "un still" because of how its state is constantly changing.