The Rising Tide: 'Underwater' sculpture unveiled on the banks of the Thames

The four horses on the Thames foreshore at Vauxhall. Credit: Totally Thames/ Jason deCaires Taylor

Underwater eco-sculptor Jason deCaires Taylor has opened his first London show on the banks of the Thames. Entitled 'The Rising Tide', the installation features four proud working horses and their riders on the South Bank, which will be concealed and revealed by the tide each day.

The horse have petroleum pumps instead of snouts and artist deCaires Taylor told ITV News London the exhibition is about asking questions about our dependence on fossil fuels.

He stressed he did not want dictate what impression people take away, but hoped his work would raise some critical questions.

Currently our oceans are facing critical threats due to carbon dioxide and so I wanted to ask questions about fossil fuels and how this dependence can change.

Jason deCaires Taylor
A child on top of one of the horses. Credit: Totally Thames/ Jason deCaires Taylor

The installation consists of four figures - two businessmen and two small children. The businessmen astride the horses representing the position of power over resources, whilst the children depict the future generations that will live with the consequences of over consumption.

Four figures sit on the horses: two businessmen and two children. Credit: Totally Thames/ Jason deCaires Taylor

Part of the Totally Thames festival, it is fully visible from the riverside walkway for up to two hours either side of low tide.

I want people to think about how fragile humanity is when faced with the greater things such as the river, and the oceans.

Jason deCaires Taylor

The horses are based on shire horses, he said, like those previously used as workhorses in London, and the location of the sculptures - in the shadow of Westminster - is of critical importance.

London has been created used concrete and mainly fossil fuels and also a lot of the people who make decisions are very very close to this area of shoreline - some of the politicians and businesses that are on these horses, I want them to be aware of the critical timescale we have to affect change.

Jason deCaires Taylor