British artist Jason deCaires Taylor is making waves with his bold new installation on the bank of London’s Thames river. Aptly named The Rising Tide, the sculptures are exposed each time the waters recede, evoking the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and hopefully sparking discussion of world powers failing to act in the interest of conservation efforts. It’s no accident that the sculptures are located less than a mile away from the Houses of Parliament, as the artist specifically designed this project to draw attention to the damaging decisions made by its members.
Four apathetic men in business suits sit atop horses, which are creepily affixed with the “horse heads” from oil well pumps. The use of life-size shire horses in the piece echo the beginnings of industrialization while the startling mechanical heads are a nod toward the future – all of which is ominously presented with the theme of the four horsemen of the apocalypse. Pretty deep stuff. Taylor also explains, “The suited figures are ambivalent to their situation – I wanted to create this striking image of a politician in front of the Houses of Parliament, ignoring the world as the water rises around him.”
This isn’t the first time Taylor has fused his creative talents with his passion for activism. Last year he unveiled the first underwater museum, Silent Evolution, in Cancun, comprised of sculptures meant to inspire scuba divers and serve as a place for new coral and other marine life to flourish. He has been working on another underwater museum in Lazarote of the Canary Islands and plans on then taking his talents to Bali. Taylor describes his motivation to turn his art into a movement, “I felt disillusioned that my works were just about creating art – I wanted to do something that maybe went beyond that and was actively beneficial.” With The Rising Tide staying put in London for over a month, it’s sure to turn some heads, and perhaps some stomachs, about the need for climate change action.
Via The Guardian
Images via Jason DeCaires Taylor