As the Executive Director of The Marine Foundation I was delighted to have been invited by a group of Dangriga fishermen to create and install an underwater sculpture in Belize. I have installed a number of sculptures in Asia but this would be my first in the Caribbean. News about the environment is often so depressing and negative I established The Marine Foundation in 2009 with a purpose to engage community members and create positive stories through science and art. I was quickly introduced to Roberts Grove Beach Resort who became my partner sponsor and through collaboration with Southern Environmental Association (SEA), Gladden Spit and Silk Cayes Marine Reserve was chosen as the installation location.
On Sunday March 13th I was thrilled to watch my “Silk Sea Goddess” sink with a splash into her new underwater home at south Silk Caye. Working with a great team from Roberts Grove and SEA, the one ton sculpture was launched from the back of the boat and landed perfectly on the seabed! She sits at a depth of 15 feet and is easily accessible from the island, so can be enjoyed by both snorkelers and SCUBA divers. I call this type of installation a “living sculpture” as over time, marine life will settle on her concrete structure, and she will become adorned with corals, sponges, and attract fish and other critters. Having snorkelled around the caye and seen the vibrant marine life, I feel happy that she has such a wonderful home and can add to the underwater experience for visitors to Silk Cayes. The sculpture represents an ancient global feminine symbol for nurturing life and protection. A fun, interactive attraction for visitors, the installation is also a tool for education and discussion around environmental issues.
It was an amazing team effort and I am hugely grateful to Thunderbirds Marine Boatyard who lifted the sculpture onto the boat and to Roberts Grove and SEA who made it happen! For more information and updates please check out www.themarinefoundation.org and The Marine Foundation Facebook page.
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