Location (see map): Oslo, Norway
Installation Date: 2018
Nexus consists of 12 sculptures located both on and in the waters of the Oslo Fjord. The work was commissioned by Sjøholmen, a new children’s art centre in Sanvika, Oslo. The centre aims to encourage children to explore art and nature and the installation is designed to draw students towards the diverse marine life in the surrounding fjords. The students will be asked to monitor how the structures develop over time as they are colonised by the sea life.
The sculptures take the viewer on a journey, connecting terrestrial life with the marine world. Bronze figures of a father and daughter stand hand-in-hand on a water-textured floating dock, looking down into the fjord. They are contemplating ten life-size floating figures below the surface of the water.
The floating figures are tethered mid water to the sea floor via a stainless steel “umbilical cord”. Suspended womb-like in the water, they remind us that life on earth began in the ocean and we remain dependent upon it for survival.
In a direct exchange between art and nature, it is expected that over time the structures will encourage marine life and regeneration in a threatened underwater environment. Already there are signs of lobsters and crabs inhabiting the crustacean dwellings placed at the base of the umbilical cords. Mussels and clear tubular sea squirts can already be seen populating the base of the installation. These filter-feeding organisms could in turn help to improve the water quality of this predominantly urban environment.
The fjord changes throughout the seasons and at times is layered with fresh water, followed by green-tinged salt water, followed by a layer of white sulphur. When looking up at the works from below, the layers create an effect of aquatic light filters, changing the interpretation dramatically. Under winter ice, the green algal water creates colours and light patterns reminiscent of the Aurora Borealis.
The artworks can be viewed by snorkelling; diving or glass bottom canoe. A hole can be cut in the ice during the winter period as access for experienced ice divers.
To discover more of Jason deCaires Taylor’s projects, view Exploring the Underwater World Through Sculpture here.
Commissioned by: Christian Ringnes and Sjøholmen Children’s Art Centre
Materials: pH neutral micro cement; polyurethane foam; bronze; stainless steel
To see more images of Jason deCaires Taylor’s works at Nexus visit the full gallery.
The surface water of the fjord can at times look bleak and cold, However, dive beneath the surface on a sunny day and the sediment of the autumn leaves turns the water gold. Go deeper and the fresh water gives way to emerald green salt water, creating a complex series of aquatic filters.Jason deCaires Taylor