Home Kent News The mysterious underwater sculptures hidden in the River Stour

The mysterious underwater sculptures hidden in the River Stour

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Original article from Kent Live

Many have lived in Canterbury for years and might think they have seen everything the unique city has to offer.

We've all seen the cathedral, the Westgate Towers and Dane John Gardens – but many will have never discovered an underwater creation buried within the River Stour.

If you stand on the bridge by the Westgate Towers and look down into the water, you will see two female figures peeking up among the weeds.

The mysterious looking sculptures look as if they are swimming along the river in Canterbury, and it is said their appearance changes with the weather and time of day.

This hidden gem is a secret of the Kent city that many are yet to discover, even the local residents.

The sculptures were created in 2008 by the Dover artist, Jason deCaires Taylor, who is the creator of the world's first underwater sculpture park, the Molinere Underwater Sculpture Park.

A close up of the Alluvia sculpture by artist Jason deCaires taylor

The figures, which draw reference to Sir John Everett Millais’s celebrated painting Ophelia, lie tranquilly on the riverbed, their arms outstretched and their feet crossed.

Named Alluvia, the two sculptures are fixed to the bed of the River Stour, and are made of cement and recycled glass resin.

If you visit these hidden figures in the daylight you will see them shine underneath the water, but if you visit them at night, they will be internally illuminated.

A sculpture of a female body at the bottom of the River Stour in Canterbury

The title Alluvia relates to the alluvial deposits of sand left by the rise and fall of the river’s water levels.

Further to this, the accumulated algae on the surface of the sculptures acts as an environmental barometer as it is an indicator of pollution within the county’s waterways.

This is pollution from chemicals and phosphates used in modern agricultural farming.

The artistic creation invites viewers to return to see the site, as each visit produces different experiences.

Have you ever noticed this unique sculpture before? Let us know in the comments below.

Original Article