Over the next four months, Barbados’ premier dive site, the SS Stavronikita, will become a hive of activity as it is transformed into an underwater art exhibition by Austrian photographer, Andreas Franke.
The Stav, as it is familiarly known, was chosen by Franke after he visited the site recently and was so impressed that he took the decision to make it the location for his next show, from December 27 to April 2013.
BHTA’s executive vice-president, Sue Springer, explained that this is big news for the island: “This is only the second time that this has been done.
Last year Franke, a well-known Viennese artist, created the world’s first underwater transformative art exhibit on an artificial reef on the USS Vandenberg in Key West, Florida, and now he has chosen Barbados.
“This will definitely enhance our dive product and will be an added attraction, especially for the diving community. It will also be something new and exciting for Barbadians to experience as well,” Springer said.
She added that the photographs will be mounted with magnets and fastened onto the ship with great care taken to ensure that the ecological balance of marine life is not disturbed or that the outer skin of the ship is not damaged.
For the exhibition, Franke, who is famous for his meticulously construed photographic displays, has created surprisingly bizarre and equally bewitching images by combining photographs of the wreck with sceneries produced in a studio.
From three young ladies court gossiping during a lavish picnic, to a woman in a blue dress obliviously indulging in a piece of cake surrounded by an extravagant amount of over elaborate pastries and confectionary, the pieces present one of the most flashing and flamboyant eras of European style and cultural history.
The SS Stavronikita is a Greek freighter which was purchased by Barbados in the late 1970’s to be used as dive site after it was overwhelmed by fire bringing cargo to Barbados.