They lay silent underneath the surface of the sea, holding hands with their faces turned up in hope. The Circle of Children is an underwater sculpture just off the coast of the Caribbean nation of Grenada, done by artist Jason de Caires Taylor. Their transformation, as they become remodeled through coral and other ocean growth, reflects the changes of growing up over a lifetime.
The Circle of Children is one of many underwater sculptures here at Molinere Bay, and something I badly wanted to see since planning our first trip to Grenada this past March. We got our chance when we rented a car for the day and drove to the bay, meeting a snorkel guide who offered to take us to the just-offshore sculpture garden and show us around for $20. It was a deal.
In addition to the Circle of Children, another very moving piece was The Graveyard. Just as it sounds, this area is home to many sculpture forms lying on the ocean floor, partially covered in sand in their silent, watery tombs. These sculptures are an homage to the many thousands who died on the slave ships coming from Africa to the New World during the horrific Atlantic Slave Trade. It is haunting, especially in the eerie other-worldliness feeling of underwater — and knowing that so many people were thrown overboard (alive or dead) and rest eternally on the ocean floor.
If you ever get the chance to go to Grenada, don’t miss this incredible place that can be easily seen via snorkeling in shallow waters, in an hour or so.