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These beautiful sculptures are watching over the Great Barrier Reef

THESE six mysterious forms seem to be watching over the dappled ocean depths, some appearing to be sunken relics of a distant past or structures carved by nature.

But look more closely and you will see that they are meticulously designed pieces of art, sent on a real-life rescue mission. Created by sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor, they are part of his eight-piece installation, Ocean Sentinels, a new addition to the Museum of Underwater Art in the Great Barrier Reef, off the coast of Townsville, Australia.

DeCaires Taylor’s works are hybrids, drawing on nature and real figures in marine science and conservation, and aim to revive the Great Barrier Reef. “Art and science are critical partners in the battle against climate change and fundamental in realigning our relationship to the natural world,” he says. The hope is that the works will be colonised by corals and other threatened marine species.

The main image is a likeness of marine zoologist Maurice Yonge, his figure merged with the form of a murex shell. The second image shows: The Coral Greenhouse, planted with coral species; a figure of coral ecologist Katharina Fabricius, influenced by soft corals and sponges. Shown above, being lowered into the water, a statue of clam expert Richard Braley.

Pictured above is a statue of Jayme Marshall, a Wulgurukaba and Yunbenen woman and Indigenous leader, merged with mangrove and fig trees.

Ocean Siren (pictured above), is a sculpture inspired by Takoda Johnson, a young Wulgurukaba girl. Its colour depends on the daily water temperature, representing the condition of the reef.

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