Situated on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia off the shore of Townsville, North Queensland, the Museum of Underwater Art has unveiled stunning images of unique and captivating installations beneath the waves. 

As well as aiming to be a major tourism attraction, job generator and marine science and research hub, the museum hopes to highlight reef conservation, restoration and education on a global scale. The only underwater art museum in the Southern Hemisphere, MOUA hosts a series of installations by leading underwater sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor. Over the past ten years Taylor has created several large-scale underwater museums and sculpture parks, with collections of over 850 life-size public works.

Coral Greenhouse Museum of Underwater Art
A piece as part of Coral Greenhouse © MOUA

Pieces have been created at John Brewer Reef and The Strand, with future projects set up for Palm Island and Magnetic Island. The inaugural sculpture Ocean Siren was installed alongside Strand Jetty in Townsville. The piece is modelled on local Wulgurukaba traditional owner Takoda Johnson, with a vision to inspire reef and ocean conservation. It reacts to live water temperature data from the Davies Reef weather station on the Great Barrier Reef and changes colour in response to live variations in water temperature.

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The materials encourage natural coral growth © MOUA

Another piece Coral Greenhouse is the largest MOUA installation, and is the first ever underwater building created by the artist. It was made to encourage scientists, marine students and tourists to engage with it by snorkelling or diving in action-based learning.

Weighing more than 58-tonnes, it is filled with and surrounded by 20 “reef guardians” made from stainless steel and pH-neutral materials to instigate natural coral growth.

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The project will install more pieces at two new locations before 2021 © MOUA

“Townsville is the hub for marine science and the Museum of Underwater Art only adds to this by offering a unique and thought-provoking encounter with the world’s most iconic natural wonder, while acting as a contemporary platform to share the stories of the reef, and the culture of its First Nations people,” said MOUA board chair Paul Victory. Completion of the Museum of Underwater Art is slated for 2021. 

More information on MOUA is available at the official website

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