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Jason deCaires Taylor is a man of many identities whose work resonates with the influences of his eclectic life. Growing up in Europe and Asia, his English father and Guyanese mother nurtured his passion for exploration and discovery. Much of his childhood was spent on the coral reefs of Malaysia where he developed a profound love of the sea and a fascination with the natural world. This would later lead him to spend several years working as a scuba diving instructor in various parts of the globe, developing a strong interest in conservation, underwater naturalism and photography. His bond with the sea remains a constant throughout Taylor's life though other key influences are found far from the oceans. During his teenage years, work as a graffiti artist fired his interest in the relationship between art and the environment, fostering an ambition to produce art in public spaces and directing the focus of his formal art training. He graduated in 1998 from the London Institute of Arts, with a B.A. Honours in Sculpture and Ceramics. Later, experience in Canterbury Cathedral taught him traditional stone carving techniques whilst five years working in set design and concert installations exposed him to cranes, lifting, logistics and completing projects on a grand scale.

With this range of experiences he was equipping himself with the skills required to execute the ambitious underwater projects that have made his name. Carving cement instead of stone and supervising cranes while in full scuba gear to create artificial reefs submerged below the surface of the Caribbean Sea, the various strands of his diverse life resolve themselves convincingly in the development of his underwater sculptures. These ambitious, public works have a practical, functional aspect, facilitating positive interactions between people and fragile underwater habitats.

He has gained significant interest and recognition for his unique work and has enjoyed exposure through National Geographic, Vogue, USA today, the BBC, and CNN. His international reputation was established in May 2006, when he created the world's first underwater sculpture park in Grenada, West Indies, leading to both private and public commissions. Taylor is currently founder and Artistic Director of the Museo Subacuático del Arte (MUSA) in Cancun, Mexico.

His underwater sculptures are a synthesis between art and science - an example of how human intervention can have a positive and regenerating effect on the environent. His works are often propagated with live coral cuttings rescued from areas of the reef system damaged by storms and human activity and specialised habitat spaces are built into the bases of the sculptures, designed to encourage individual types of marine creatures such as moray eels, juvenile fish and lobsters. The cement finish and chemical composition of the works also actively promote the colonisation of coral and marine life, allowing the figures to transform over time with their environment, and conversely as this happens so they change the shape of their habitat.

In their underwater environment they are removed from the context of the white walls of a gallery space we've become so accustomed to - the viewer is unrestrained in their interaction with the work. Buoyancy and weightlessness enable a detached physical experience, encouraging encounters that are perceptual and personal.

The interaction between the inanimate and living forms highlights a potential symbiotic relationship with the life systems of the underwater world. Over the past few decades we have lost over 40% of our natural coral reefs. Scientists predict a permanent demise of 80% by 2050.

We're excited to be able to feature Jason deCaires stunning ephemeral works in Issue 4 of T-Squat this week. To further immerse yourself in the worlds he has created for us to enjoy visit his website underwatersculpture.com and make a mental note to check back regularly to see how his works are developing under the discerning curatorship of Mother Nature.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Words by James Watkins
 
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When I first viewed Geraldine Georges' work I felt as if each of her creations could feature as a character in a movie, set in a parallel universe populated by floating, translucent female forms who are of the highest futuristic religious intelligence. Where they all talk really softly and live in a perfectly ordered, self governed society in perpetual peace.

She is a Belgian artist whose work is steeped in a distinct femininity with a smooth, surreal theatricality. Her innate gift for seemlessly blending artistic mediums, paralelled with an endless supply of amazing concepts, has allowed her to be published in numerous high-profile art magazines and publications as well as winning her well-deserved international attention.

To fully appreciate her talents, take the time to thoroughly browse her website and keep up to date with her latest work on facebook.

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Words by James Watkins
     
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There's buzzing again. It's not incessant because you bang your hand on the snooze button every so often to shut the sound down. And you're back now in the bamboo forest, illuminated by a sublime, blue-green light. A beautiful, scantily clad geisha draped in silk appears from nowhere and offers you a purple mushroom saying nothing except, "this is the answer". You feel powerless to question this logic. It seems to make some strange obscure sense. You take a healthy bite out of the top of it.

The fungis hallucinogenic effects take an instant grip on your already disorientated senses. The damp mossy undergrowth of the forest opens up and you find yourself free-falling with a sense of weightlessness through the inside of a perpetual rainbow, populated with the naked sillhouettes of women wrapped in luminous, technicolour ribbons. Mesmorized by the way they gracefully flip, spin and dance around you in zero gravity you start to feel overwhelmingly euphoric and think that the geisha was right. Just as you're about to lose touch with your temporary reality, hundreds of butterflies materialise around you, each holding a soft, thin thread that has wrapped itself comfortably around your limbs. You voluntarily succumb to your well-meaning winged friends whilst they work in concert, delicately lowering you back down into your warm, welcoming bed.

We can't be 100% sure that a similar out-of-body-experience was the genesis for the hyper-real artworks of Mathew Thomas aka Couscous Kid (and his collaborators), but that's our best, uneducated guess.

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An illustrator and designer based in Bath, UK. Mathew's illustrations lie somewhere between the cutting edge of the new breed in contemporary illustration and the tempting nipple of naive. Impossible to pigeon-hole, Couscous Kids' dream-like and innocent style leads us dancing eerily among the childlike leaves we cling onto through life to a deeper and darker space. A timeless place where fantasy and fairy tale doodles combine with intrigue, mystery and sex. At first glance all is as it seems with hints of sixties abandon, but closer inspection reveals a 21st century humour and physical freedom hidden among the sublime and ridiculous forms and characters. Recently Mat has been developing his unique style of image making by working with original sketches drawn by his wife Debra with whom he lives, together with their 2 children. Mathew's images find homes embodying and embracing beauty, fashion, nature, music and above all life. Investigate and explore!"

www.couscouskid.co.uk

 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
Words by James Watkins
 
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Luke Dixon is an artist, illustrator and goose handler hailing from the home of pale asses and green pastures: England. His body of work blends a collection of styles, subject matter and influences - often giving the viewer a stylised photo-documentary experience. His imagery contains elements of humour, social commentary and a pleasing fascination with wild animal heads (more often than not placed on top of a human torso).

Browsing through his imagery is like having your eyes fall upon a gigantic devil called Nostalgic Dejavu. You can see your friends trapped in sketches of their past, in old photo albums when it wasn't square to be hip.

Luke's official website is currently being rebuilt, luckily, you can enjoy more of his fantastic imagery and purchase some of his dope merchandise from his other two sites:

lukedixonart.tumblr.com

flickr.com/photos/lukedixonart