Austrian artist creates underwater galleries on sunken ships


An Austrian artist, Andreas Franke, has unveiled his third underwater gallery, this time on USS Mohawk CGC.

The project, called 'The Sinking World', brings the ships back to life using models in period clothing superimposed onto underwater photographs of the sunken vessel.

The latest project is set on a WWII warship off of Sanibel Island, and is there until 15 September 2013.

The 165-foot warship, nicknamed 'Mighty Mo', is now a living reef thriving with exotic marine life.

Franke and his team installed 12 images within the ship's inner spaces that, over the time the exhibit is on display, will accumulate marine life, giving them a life of their own and enabling a unique art process to occur.

The gallery is 28 nautical miles off the coast of Sanibel Island, near Fort Myers, and, in clear waters, divers can expect visibility of 50-70 feet - perfect conditions to view the eerie images.

 

After the initial underwater exhibition, the images will be on display at the Lee County Alliance for the Arts galleries in Fort Myers on 4-26 October 2013.

Franke travels the world between jobs which allows him time for his other passion, scuba diving.

He says: "In my photography I try to construct illusionistic worlds far beyond the often shallow and eye-catching ad business.

"This is why my work is always based on a strict concept, which is photographically and technically perfectly implemented. Every little detail is part of a precisely arranged production."

Franke spends time researching the ship before creating his images in order to imagine how life may have been for the passengers whilst it was afloat.

The Mohawk launched 14 attacks against German U-boats and rescued 300 torpedoed ship survivors.

Other ships that have been home to his work are the USS General Hoyt S. Vandenberg, off the coast of Florida, and the SS Stavronikita, off the coast of Barbados.