Cancun’s Underwater Museum in
Mexico is fusing modern art with aquatic practicality and adding to the
original pieces first installed last year. Nestled on the sea floor and weighing in at 8 tons is a
concrete classic Volkswagen Beetle that was developed by Jason deCaires-Taylor,
an artist from Canterbury,Kent.
The sculpture is not only
visually stunning on the outside; it provides marine-life ‘housing’ as
well. Instead of seats,a
dashboard,or a thumping sound system,the “Votcho”,as locals call it,is home
to internal living spaces for Lobsters and Crustaceans that look very similar
to tiny bunk beds. Also,somewhat
like ‘doggie’ doors found in modern homes,there are lobster entrance doors low
on the motor’s frame. The surface
of the car is Textured Ph Neutral cement which allows for the attraction and
settlement of hard and soft corals.
The windows are pockmarked with holes in which smaller fish species can
take refuge and breed.
Curled up on the outside
windshield of the ‘bug’ is a concrete woman that somehow evokes the feeling
that something has been mourned.
Mr. deCaires-Taylor says,‘The sculpture is designed to house marine
life whilst exploring the significant impacts humans have had on our planet’s
ecosystems and the subsequent affects to future generations.’ The classic rounded aerodynamic form
makes the VW well-suited to survive the strong currents and tropical storms
that Caribbean waters can be vulnerable to.
When ‘installing’ the VW,huge
barrels were attached to the car allowing it to float gently to the sea floor
where a team of divers could fix it into place. The Beetle is just one of many attractions in the eclectic
Underwater Museum which also features sculptures of hundreds of people,modern
furniture and buildings that were also made by deCaire-Taylor. The Beetle is the most recent addition
to the museum and was situated 26 ft below surface level near the Manchones
Reef off of Isla Mujeres.and Cancun real