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The Traveller's Magazine
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Looking for a unique diving experience? You’ll find it on a sunken ship near you! Well almost. First Florida, now Barbados is home to the world’s only underwater photography exhibition by artist Andreas Franke. It’s an experience you won’t want to miss.

Welcome to the world of underwater art

Bordering on performance art, the photographs depict everyday scenes against the backdrop of a sunken and forgotten ship at the bottom of the ocean. There is a group of ballerinas doing their stretches on the deck, a housewife hanging out the washing, two men boxing with a young lad watching from the railing… these are just some of the almost ghostly images on display.

The unique collection of photographs below were hung on the side of a 10,000 tonne ship off of Florida’s coast at a depth that is only reachable by experienced divers. The Vandenberg vessel, which is now home to the second largest artificial reef in the world, once sailed the seas as a transport vessel for the USA during World War II, a history that no doubt gave the Viennese artist his inspiration for his scenes.

Dives to the strangest deeps

We can be sure there were no ballerinas hanging out around the Vandenberg, so how did the artist do it? These photographs are certainly impressive from the technical point of view. Franke dove down to the ship and took high-resolution shots with underwater cameras. He then photographs the models in a studio using the same lenses before superimposing them to create the final images.

Incredible, aren’t they?






The photographs at Vandenburg have been resurfaced to be displayed on land, to much acclaim. Among art collectors, some are fetching as much as US$30,000 a piece. We just hope they don’t mind their smell after being underwater for so long!

Franke’s next project? You’ll find it off the coast of Barbados at the site of the sunken SS Stravronikita. Here you’ll find twelve new images depicting scenes of the Renaissance aristocracy. The ship has been underwater for thirty-five years now so it’s well-covered in coral and growth, the perfect setting for Franke’s latest body of work.

Fancy a visit?

Flights to Barbados

For more information about the locations of the exhibition and the artist, visit The Sinking World.


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