• Tracy Gunn

The Dream Catcher (El Coleccionista De Sueños); by Jason deCaire Taylor, in Isla Mujeres

Updated: Jul 23


The Dream Catcher. Photo credit @jamiejustaddwater

Within the Manchones National Park, in the dive site locally known as Manchones 1, you can come across some more of the amazing statues of MUSA. Amongst the reef beds, there is what appears to be a man standing at a bar full of bottles, with a dog asleep on the ground. Do you want to know the story? It is an amazing one.


In the original first expansion of MUSA, in 2009, a statue called The Dream Catcher was sunk amongst the Manchones reef. There are two statues to be found here. The Man on Fire and The Dream Catcher.


The Dream Catcher is a cast of the father of the artist himself, Jason deCaire Taylor. He completed the casting shell in his home country of England and brought it back to Mexico with him. Can you imagine working in an airline and coming across this in the cargo on a plane?


The man (his father) is depicted in a collared shirt and pants and stands on a platform, leaning against an L-shaped bar or cabinet. He is looking down thoughtfully to his right, with his left hand under his chin, where he has notes on a pad of paper. On top of the cabinet, there are some books, a coffee cup, and a sphere. Within the cabinet, there are various shaped bottles held upright by horizontal bars. In front of the man is a sleeping dog.


Inside the bottles are messages. One message is from Roberto Diaz Abraham, one of the founders of MUSA and it reads "I hope that with evolution, our hearts do not become as hard as our heads". Many of the other messages are from children that attend a school in Puerto Morales where Jason was living at the time. These same children were used for the casting of the ears for the statue, The Listener, which is a collaboration between Heather Spence and Jason deCaire Taylor to record the sounds of the ocean.


Have you seen the statue and wondered about the dog perhaps? How do you cast a dog? Well, the truth is that a dog will not lie still long enough to be cast so Jason deCaire Taylor needed a dog that was already dead. He went to the Perro Municipal, which is like a Dog Pound in Mexico and they graciously informed him to just take his pick and they would kill it for him. Being the soul that he was, the idea horrified him and he could not, in all good consciousness, do that. So he put out word to all of his employees to notify him when they found a dog on the side of the road that had been hit by a car.

When one was found, he needed to store it until he could cast it so he put it in the freezer of Patti Santos, a Guarda Parque Employee in whose house he was staying. Unfortunately for Patti, she did not know and when she opened the freezer to get a pizza, she was met with a sight that made her scream so loud that Roberto Diaz still chuckles.



Jason deCaire Taylor's book states that "The Dream Collector is a collection of messages in glass bottles that were collated by the artist from various communities around the world"


The statue sits at 9mt in the National Park and is perfect for snorkelers and divers alike. The calm, Caribbean waters make ideal conditions for all levels of divers.


Depth

9 meters / 30 feet

Experience Level

Entry Level, Beginners, and all levels of certified divers

Average Visibility Underwater

20-30 mt / 66-99 feet

Average Water Temp

28 C°/ 82F°


To view the fish surveyed here with reef.org click HERE




  1. M.U.S.A. Museo Subacuático de Arte. (2022, April 25). Underwater Sculpture by Jason deCaires Taylor. https://www.underwatersculpture.com/projects/musa-mexico/

  2. The Underwater Museum, The submerged sculptures of Jason deCaires Taylor, Chronicle Books 2014

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