[News] Artist Jason de Caires Taylor clarifies intention of Underwater sculptures in Grenada originally thought to be a tribute to slavery
We posted images of the underwater sculptures in Grenada by Jason de Caires Taylor. The pictures of the beautiful scenes of what was originally thought to be a tribute to fallen African slaves have been circulated on many websites. A few weeks ago I noticed that there were comments circulating that this indeed was not true and that the sculptures had nothing to do with slavery.
As a child of Grenadian parents, I was interested to find out the intention of the piece as the island of Grenada as with the majority of islands in the Caribbean have a very strong connection with the slave trade and you can still find remnants of this even today. It would be interesting to find out the discourse between the Grenadian government and the artist when they were first approached to have the sculptures placed there. After contacting the artist I received the following reply:
“It was never my intention to have any connection to the Middle passage, below is the original text. Although it was not my intention from the outset I am very encouraged how it has resonated differently within various communities and feel it is working as an art piece by questioning our identity, history and stimulating debate.”
– Jason de Caires Taylor
Although I do find it interesting that these particular sculptures were allowed to be placed on the island of Grenada I also have to respect the artists intention and commend the fact that now that he’s aware of what many take the sculptures to mean that he is now leaving the intention open to discussion.